Arrows baseball to miss strike zone in 2018

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Cassville High School graduate and 2017 Cassville Arrows right fielder Leigh Cox takes a pitch during the Arrows’ 11-10 win over the Joplin Outlaws to open the summer season. Cox will be looking for a new team this summer as Arrows’ management has decided to take this season off. Jared Lankford/sports@monett-times.com

Cassville college team to takes one-year hiatus

The future of college baseball in Cassville is murky after Aaron Massey, president of the Cassville Arrows, issued a two-paragraph, 124-word statement on Sunday.

In an email sent to 17 area news organizations, boosters and school officials, Massey credited personal reasons for the hiatus.

“I wanted to send out an email to everyone to inform them of our plans,” Massey’s message said. “I am dealing with health issues within my family. As some of you know, my wife has been dealing with major surgeries that have made it difficult for me to focus on Cassville Arrows business. For this reason, I will not be fielding a team for the summer of 2018.”

In December of 2016, Massey told Cassville Democrat that the team was committed to the town and joining the Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas Collegiate Baseball League (MINK).

“Right now, we are on probation with the MINK League,” Massey said. “We are playing every team in the league but one. A normal season is around 40-45 games. We hope to play a full slate next year.”

However, financial problems began to arise by June, Massey told the Joplin Globe.

MINK commissioner Bob Steinkamp estimated that it takes $50,000-plus to operate in the eight-team collegiate baseball league.

“The negative to joining is trying to generate financial support from a town of 3,000 people,” Massey told the Globe. “You have to enter Monett, Aurora, maybe Springfield. You are a little limited with the population and what you’re getting into. That’s kind of what we’re feeling right now, and the only thing that’s holding us back.”

In 2017, the Arrows played every MINK team but one, and the Arrows posted a 4-10 overall mark against MINK teams.

Massey’s statement also said there are plans for the 2019 season as a member of a collegiate league.

“Being an independent has become more and more difficult,” Massey said in the statement. “I do have a few leagues that are interested, and once my family gets back to 100 percent, I will start plans to put together an organization that will enter one of these leagues.”

Massey did not return phone calls from The Monett Times for further questions.

The 2017 roster contained local talent, with 19 of the 21 players from Missouri schools. Four players, Leigh Cox, Alex Dyer, Noah Hadlow and Chad Howerton, are from Cassville.

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