Dan Wehmer - Publisher's Pen

Dan Wehmer

While schools in several area communities are kicking off the football season at month’s end, the Seymour R-II School District will open its 2019-20 school year with baseball, basketball and softball.

Seymour High School features fall baseball for the boys and fall softball for the girls.

Seymour Middle School has its boys and girls playing basketball.

There also is boys’ swimming and girls’ golf at the high school, as well as cross country for boys and girls at the middle school.

Those schedules were handed out Tuesday night at the district’s open house.

Local fans have good reason to be excited about head coach Jason Duey’s baseball team, which is coming off a second-place finish in the Class 2 state tournament.

Returning are six starters from last spring’s 21-win ballclub, including a pair of All-State performers in senior Carson Sturdefant and junior Nathaniel Hosiner.

Other returning starters include seniors Nathan Baker and Brandon Young, juniors Brock Pearce and Scott Helms.

Senior Larry Benson also saw significant action last fall and spring.

Add to the mix promising sophomore Payton Bryant and incoming freshman Matthew Benson, and Duey’s squad has the potential for another strong season.

“We’ve got an excellent foundation with our returning starters, and we should again have excellent depth with our pitching staff,” Duey noted.

Last spring, Sturdefant won eight games, while Hosiner and Pearce each had four wins.

All three had earned-run averages below 3.00.

However, Duey said it will be very diffi cult to replace his four graduated seniors — Brady Brooke, Eric Helms, Truman Hosiner and Keaton Owens.

Brooke, Helms and Hosiner were All-State selections last spring.

Owens was a four-year starter.

“Their leadership is what we will miss most,” Duey said.

“Someone is going to have to step up and fi ll that role for us. All four (graduated seniors) led by example.

“They got this thing started here. As freshmen, they took a lot of losses, then gradually improved. As sophomores, we had a .500 team. Then this group was part of a team that won the Summit Conference as juniors and placed second in the state as seniors, winning 20 or more games in the spring in each of the last two years.”

The Tigers’ fall baseball season starts Thursday, Sept. 5, at Hartville.

Game time is 4:30 p.m.

We’ll have a preview on the team in next week’s newspaper.

Stay tuned.

* * * * * *

Reading time, two minutes:

• Free the Missouri Department of Transportation.

• Brian Fletcher of Applied Environmental Consulting, LLC, provided an update Monday on the city’s restroom project on the east side of the Seymour square.

The concrete-block building is built.

Next up is the roof.

“It’s a bomb shelter,” Fletcher said with a smile. “Trust me, that building was built to last a long time.”

Over the next two weeks, a roof will be constructed, followed by the installation of sinks and toilets.

Will it be ready for the Seymour Apple Festival when the event starts on Thursday, Sept. 12?

“Without a doubt,” Fletcher said.

“If needed, I can give a ceremonial first fl ush.”

• If you’ve noticed, the large (and trashy) Douglas Fir tree just east of the gazebo in the Seymour Downtown Park at the center of the city square has been removed.

The tree has been an eyesore for years.

And a general nuisance.

“It didn’t fit very well,” said John Griechen, the city’s street supervisor. “Everyone was griping about it, so finally I asked, ‘You want it out?’ I was told yes, so we took that old tree out.”

The look is impressive.

Next up is a new water fountain near the site of the old tree. The former fountain hasn’t worked for years.

It will be replaced by a version that includes two spouts and is handicapped accessible.

“We’re hoping the new (fountain) is here and installed by the time the Seymour Apple Festival arrives,” City Administrator Hillary Gintz said.

• A slight correction regarding the new Seymour Tire Shop, LLC, which hopes to open its doors on North Commercial Street by month’s end.

Business owners are Myron Fann and Kaley Julian.

Ben Johnson owns the building.

Fann and Julian, an uncle and niece duo, are owners of the  business. They are leasing the building from Johnson.

“We’ll have a grand opening once we open, and I’ll fill you in more on that as soon as the final touches are made,” Julian said last week.

Drive by the building and take a look.

The progress is impressive.

Dan Wehmer is the Citizen’s editor, publisher and owner. He can be reached at 417-935-2257 or via e-mail at citizen@webstercountycitizen.com.

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