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Legion baseball almost here

CFV Riverdogs to start up in ‘21, based out of Plains


There will be an American Legion baseball team in Sanders County, maybe not in 2020 but definitely in 2021.

That’s the word from the new Clark Fork Valley Riverdogs and their head coach Jon Zigler. Zigler said an application has been submitted to and accepted by the Montana/Alberta American Legion organization to begin play in 2021.

Zigler, who will be joined in guiding the Riverdogs by assistant coaches Sam Carter and Shawn Plakke, and manager/statistician Crystal Dringle, says the ‘Dogs will be based out of Plains, sponsored by American Legion Post 129 in Paradise, and will draw players from Plains, Thompson Falls, Hot Springs and Superior.

The Riverdogs will be comprised of players 15 to 19 years old, will carry a roster of 13 or 14 players and are projected to play over 40 games in 2021. As a Senior B team, the Riverdogs will play in the Montana/Alberta Legion Western District which also includes the Bitterroot Red Sox, Glacier Twins, Missoula Mavericks, Kalispell Lakers, Cranbrook Bandits, Bitterroot Bucs, Libby Loggers, Mission Valley Mariners and Kootenai Valley Rangers.

Zigler said he had a son playing with the Mariners, the closest team geographically to Plains the last several years. “The amount of drive time was unbelievable,” he said, “so a few of us got together and decided give this idea of forming our own team a try.

“And we got a lot of calls, texts and emails in support of the idea,” he added, “and are going to go for it.”

Zigler, who works remotely for the Subway corporation out of his home in Plains, is confident in the abilities of local players. He says he has another son that wishes to play and knows of several other talented players who should help fill the roster for the 2021 Riverdogs.

He said team tryouts will be held at the end of July with hopes of having the 2021 roster set by August. Zigler thinks he knows what he is walking into.

“I have very high hopes for this program to be a catalyst for baseball in the future here in the valley. I also have very high hopes for this specific team,” he said. “I know and have coached a lot of the young men that are trying out for the team and I would rate their talent level as being exceptional.”


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