The Dunmore Freedom League at Sherwood Park continues to thrive.
Charlie Ehnot, commissioner and founder of the Dunmore Freedom League, coached and managed for over a decade when it was known as the Collegiate Summer Baseball League (CSBL).
The name changed and now the Dunmore Freedom League enters its third year of summer baseball.
The summer season begins just after Memorial Day in early June and concludes at the end of July with playoffs. There will be at least six teams this season.
Most of the games are played at Dunmore’s Sherwood Park.
Charlie Ehnot, a Scranton Prep graduate, formerly coached his three sons – Marc, Jerry and Chaz – for 20 years in the Dunmore Little League and Teener League.
“I was looking for a league for my boys to continue to play in, so we started the Collegiate Summer Baseball League. I had the fortune of coaching my three boys in this league all over again.”
His son Chaz is now a player-coach in the Dunmore Freedom League. He and Mark Simko coach one of three Dunmore entries in the league. Honesdale, Old Forge and a group of former Scranton Prep baseball players who call themselves Varsity Pit Stop round out the current six teams.
Mark Simko played eight years in the league before becoming strictly a manager. His brother “Dirt” Simko was a key player in the league for several years and symbolized the gritty nature of most of the players.
Former Holy Cross and University of Scranton standout Anthony Duchnowski, now a Latin teacher at North Pocono High School, is one of the league’s constants and a star performer. He can’t wait every summer for the season to start.
All teams make the playoffs with the top two teams getting first round byes.
“There is a championship and a lot of good competition! but no trophy at the end,” said Chaz Ehnot. “This is all about the kids playing to stay active in the summer. It’s a supplemental work program that helps keep collegiate baseball players in shape. It helps keep their skills sharp.
“We are very proud of what we have done with this league and what we are going to do. We work hard to make this a classy field. We are trying to freshen it up and make it better.
“All the coaches, along with my dad as commissioner, take part in the schedule and mapping out of the league.”
Charlie Ehnot said local Eagle Scouts improved and enhanced the Sherwood Park baseball field through various scouting projects. One Eagle Scout was instrumental in the building of a new backstop.
You need to be at least 17 to play in the Dunmore Freedom League. There is no maximum age limit. Charlie Terrery played in the league last season at age 57. He played on the same Dunmore team as his son Alex.
Most of the players, however, are in the collegiate age bracket and up to 10 years above. The prime age seems to be 18 to 35.
There are no boundaries. You don’t have to live in Dunmore. You need to be competitive.
“The league is very competitive,” said Chaz Ehnot, “but we do play for fun too. We play for the love of the game. It doesn’t always have to be serious.”
Ehnot said the Dunmore Freedom League is actively seeking new teams and players. “We want to get this league to how it was before. We once had 10 teams and the local newspapers publicized the games. We think this league can get there again.”
Any player or team interested in joining the Dunmore Freedom League can call Charlie Ehnot (570-479-2289) or Chaz Ehnot (301-503-0131).
It is competitive hard ball at its best.
And the players in the league, who range from 18 to 58, love every minute of it.