GREAT FALLS — In continued efforts to bolster interest in baseball in Great Falls, the Electric City Baseball Academy and the Great Falls Chargers American Legion program will merge into one umbrella organization.
Exact details on the structure of the new organization are still being worked out. The ECBA, whose teams go by the name Great Falls Lightning, sponsors travel ball from ages 8 through Class A Legion. The Chargers play at the Legion AA level.
Ultimately, the group hopes to have Great Falls competing for state titles. The last Legion state championship in the city came in 1977.
In recent years, the Chargers have had low numbers go out for the team, but head coach Tony Forster said the merger of the groups will make the process simpler and more streamlined for players and families to stay involved in baseball through high school.
"The ECBA has done a great job of getting kids out for baseball at young ages, and what they're doing a really good job of, as well, is keeping them interested," Forster said. "I think what has happened in the past is kids have played until they were about 12 or 13, and then they kind of just lose interest or not exactly sure what they want to do at the next level. So, what we're trying to do is just everybody working together so everyone knows what the next step is for each kid, so the parents have a better idea, as well."
The announcement comes ahead of fall assessments for Legion-aged players for the 2021 season. Anyone aged 14 through 18 interested in playing Legion ball can be assessed at Don Olson Field Saturday, Oct. 3 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be assessments on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.