Doin’ Dunmore: Dunmore Freedom League Gearing up for Summer Season

baseballBy Steve Svetovich

The Dunmore Freedom League (formerly Collegiate Summer Baseball League) has been going strong for over two decades now and this summer will be no different at Sherwood Park.

Charlie Ehnot returns as league commissioner for a 15th season. His son, Chas Ehnot, returns as a player-coach for a sixth straight year. Prior to that he played for several years in the league.

Chas Ehnot and Mark Simko, another former player in the league, return once again to coach one of the two Dunmore entries in the league.

Tyler Chulvick returns as a player/coach for the other Dunmore entry.

Honesdale will be another entry in the league. There is also a Mid Valley team.

“Right now we have four teams slated to play in the league,” said Chas Ehnot, “but we are looking to add more players and teams.”

Local baseball players 17 and older can play in the league. There is no maximum age limit, but players need to be very competitive to play. Charlie Terrery, still as competitive as the younger players, returns at age 60 as the oldest in the league. Most of the players in the league have played high school or collegiate baseball and are used to competition.

Those interested in playing can call Chas Ehnot at (301)503-0131.

“We are a very competitive league, but we also have a lot of fun,” said Ehnot. “My dad plans on getting back into the coaching side this year. He missed that part of it.

“This is a game. We should all compete, but have fun doing it. The game makes me feel a lot younger myself. We are trying to do the best we can for the kids here.”

Some of the better known players returning this season, said Ehnot, include Anthony Duchnowski, Dylan Svetovich, David Chromey, Chris Rinaldi, Corey Rinaldi, Tyler Fisch, Michael Villa, Corey Sullivan, Riley Sullivan, Alex Terrery, P.J. Mandarano, John Joe Gustin, Billy Keating, Justin Magistro, Zack McGinty, Harry Wildrick and Chulvick.

“The future of the league is in good shape,” said Ehnot. “We have reason to get more and more teams on the field.

“We have a lot of projects planned for the field. We are going to make some drastic improvements. We want to improve the playing surface. There are a lot of things we are waiting on. We want to insert new bases and rebuild the mound and the back drop.

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“We want to keep the baseball field at Sherwood Park in great shape for years to come. We want this to be a top notch field in the area.

“And we want the field in use not only for us, but for the public. We want fathers and sons coming out to Sherwood Park to play catch and practice. We want it for everybody.”

Ehnot said the Dunmore Freedom League begins play Memorial Day weekend. Regular season games are played through the first week of August followed by playoffs. All teams are seeded in the playoffs. Semi final and championship final playoffs are slated to be best of three this season, said Ehnot.

Ehnot said the Dunmore Freedom League would like to add two more teams to its existing four clubs. He is encouraging local collegiate players and even older players to join. High school seniors are also eligible.

“This is a competitive league,” he said. “But there is a lot of fun between all the players involved. We look at it as a game to enjoy.

“We would love to have more teams and players. The Dunmore Freedom League at Sherwood Park is here to stay, so we would like to expand a little more. We can’t wait for the season to start.”

Dunmore Freedom League Continues to Expand

baseball-picBy

Steve Svetovich

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.

Play Ball!