New middle school baseball & softball programs a hit in Anchorage

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Spring sports are in full swing, and this summer, middle school students in the Anchorage School District can play baseball and softball for their schools.

For the past year the Anchorage Sports Association and the Alliance American Legion Baseball worked to bring the program to life.

“That was our objective to get as many kids playing baseball and softball in a team environment,” said the American Legion’s Steve Nerland.

The program is a success so far with 400 students, 10 different junior highs and overall 26 different baseball and softball teams.

“It provides a lot of girls who didn’t have the opportunity to play the sport that opportunity to play the sport before they go on to high school,” said Begich Middle School softball coach Kayla Smiley. “I really enjoy teaching the students other than language arts.”

Nerland says the program typically plays games on Saturdays with modified rules, and allows players to play both for their school and local little league programs.

“It’s really neat because we have brand new players, and players that have played for eight years,” said Begich Middle School baseball coach Stephen Bahner.

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