With talented roster, Buckhannon Post 7 looks for another trip to state tournament

TENNERTON – Off their trip to the West Virginia State Tournament last season, the Buckhannon-Upshur Post 7 American Legion baseball team is looking to maintain or even achieve a higher level of success for the 2023 season.

“Last year was the culmination of the previous several legion seasons, the high school season and several kids really working so hard and grinding it out and staying the course to achieve that outcome,” remarked Buckhannon Post 7 general manager Kevin Boring. “To win our area and make it to the state tournament for the first time in 16 years truly was phenomenal.”

“Then, to win the first tournament game versus Morgantown Post 2 on their home field was so satisfying,” Boring added. “For about two weeks there last July, we really captured lightning in a bottle. Those players did a great job of battling through some adversity and staying on track and focused for our season and post-season goals.”

Boring said that instead of rebuilding Post 7 for the year, they have reloaded for the 2023 season.

“We have reloaded our senior program from our coaches down to and including our roster,” noted Boring. “Now that these kids have experienced success, we want that to continue.”

Boring said returning to the state tournament is once again the goal of this team, but he knows making a return trip isn’t a given this season.

“It is our goal to win our area again and make a second consecutive appearance in the state tournament,” remarked Boring. “That being said, we want to be playing our best baseball and peak for our area and state tournament.”

“There are so many things that we must deal with and work around in the summer, such as players having jobs, players traveling out of town with family, some attending camps, etc. (those are all important things that each player needs to be a part of),” he continued. “It can be tough to get a concrete group together, but we feel that by late June we will have most of that out of the way and we can begin to gel together for the end of the regular season and tournament time.”

The newest obstacle for Post 7 this year is being placed in a more competitive area as the state disbanded Post 7’s old Area V that included them along with Elkins Post 29. Post 7 is now in Area 2, which will feature Morgantown Post 2, Bridgeport Post 68, Clarksburg Post 13, Fairmont Post 17 and Elkins Post 29.

Under the new format, the top two teams from the four areas will advance to the state tournament.

Boring thinks the team’s maturity and experience will be a big reason why Post 7 will have a chance at a second straight state tournament.

“I think our strengths will be our maturity, experience and resilience,” remarked Boring. “We have several players back that were part of our run last year. We have an older group altogether this year. We have five players that have committed to play college ball next year and one player that was on a college roster last year. So that will be a big plus.”

“Having that level of experience allows us to get our work done in a business-like fashion,” he added. “That type of attitude coupled with day-in and day-out consistently is the key.”

The talented roster will feature players from Lewis County, Morgantown, Philip Barbour and Buckhannon-Upshur. The roster includes from Buckhannon-Upshur: Payton Bennett, Eli Bryant, Zach Calef-Boring, Ian Donnen, Brayden Hamer, Isaac Lane, Evan McDowell, Ryan Snyder and Jaden Westfall; from Lewis County: Ryder Aman, Trenton Hunt and Grant Mealey and Jonah Clem (Glenville State); from Morgantown is Riley Anderson and from Philip Barbour is Alfred Isch.

From that group, six were Big 10 All-Conference performers this past season in high school ball in Calef-Boring, Bennett, Aman, Hunt, Mealey and Isch.

“This team is a very talented group, and we have versatility, maturity of players with big game experience and kids with solid work ethics,” said Boring. “That type of player gives us the chance to compete with all the American Legion teams in our state.”

 The team will have the steady presence of Boring as general manager of the team but will have several new faces on the coaching staff this season.

“I think this is the ninth year now that I have worked with the legion,” noted Boring.” I am the general manager, and we have a new head coach in Duane Englund.”

In the dugout will also be new assistant head coaches in Austin Simmons, and Trevor Mouser. Boring stated that Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Adam Squires will be able to help with the team during the three-week summer period.

Englund is a former junior college standout from the state of Michigan and was involved with legion championship teams from that state. He finished his college playing career at Glenville State University and performed at an All-Conference level, hitting .300 or above every season he played in college.

Mouser is from Philippi and played collegiately at Alderson Broaddus and has coached baseball at various levels and has been involved with legion baseball for several years. Austin Simmons played legion ball for Elkins Post 29 and was a member of the West Virginia Wesleyan baseball team.

“I really want everyone to know that our coaching staff is made up of volunteers,” stated Boring “American Legion Baseball also requires all coaches to complete a background check and then take additional training and testing as well. So, it takes a person willing to make a commitment to be involved and make a difference.”

Post 7 will also have a Junior Legion team this year with a full schedule of over 18 games under the direction of former Buckhannon-Upshur and Marshall University standout Matt McDaniels.

“It is nice to have a junior group in place for the second consecutive season and third year in total,” remarked Boring. “I am hopeful those players continue to work and develop. It is vital not only for the success of the Legion program but also for our high school program.”

“Many of those junior players are going to be asked to fill the shoes of the seven graduated seniors from this year’s high school team,” he said. “This junior season is imperative for their progress toward those goals.”

The junior legion roster will include Tucker Burr, Wyatt Mason, Gage Parsons, Ethan Garvin, Jevon Westfall, Jerin Westfall, Andrew Nesbitt, Ethan Vavaro, Weldon Zirkle, Brodie McDaniels and Jaxson Spratt.

Joining McDaniels in the junior legion dugout will be assistant coaches Gerald Zirkle and Wayne Parsons.

Not only have the Buckhannon Legionnaires found success on the field, under Boring, they have established a strong connection with local veterans within Post 7 as Sonny Gould serves as their Veteran Liaison.

“We also focus on community service,” stated Boring. “Our baseball program helps decorate veteran graves at Heavner Cemetery for Memorial Day, walk with the veterans for the Veteran’s Day parade, help hang banners at Jawbone Park and host a Veteran Recognition Day at our last regular season home game.”

Post 7 started their season with a double-header split against North Berkley on Sunday and beat Clarksburg on Tuesday. They will play again Thursday, June 8, on the road against Charleston Post 65 at 7 p.m.


  • June 4 vs. North Berkeley (doubleheader) (W, 12-11; L, 3-5)
  • June 6 vs. Clarksburg Post 13 (W, 13-3)
  • June 8 at Charleston Post 65, 6:30 p.m.
  • June 13 at Clarksburg Post 13, 7 p.m.
  • June 14 at Morgantown Post 2, 7 p.m.
  • June 15-18 at Bridgeport Legion Tournament, TBA
  • June 20 vs. Elkins Post 29, 7 p.m.
  • June 22 at Fairmont Post 17, 7 p.m.
  • June 24 vs. Moundsville at WVWC, 12 p.m.
  • June 25 vs. Parkersburg at WVWC, 1 p.m.
  • June 25 vs. Morgantown Post 2, 7 p.m.
  • June 29 vs. Glenville Travel U-17, 7 p.m.
  • June 30 vs. Garrett County (Md.), 7 pm
  • July 2 vs. Fairmont, 6 p.m.
  • July 9 vs Charleston post 65 (Doubleheader), 1 p.m.
  • July 10 at Elkins Post 29, 7 p.m.
  • July 12 at Glenville Travel U17, 7 p.m.
  • July 13 vs Bridgeport Post 68 at WVWC, 7 p.m.
  • July 14 at Parkersburg, 6 p.m.
  • July 15 vs. South Charleston (Doubleheader), 1 p.m.
  • July 16 vs. Wellsburg (Doubleheader), 1 p.m.
  • July 18 at Area 2 Tournament at Bridgeport
  • July 24 at West Virginia State American Legion Tournament at Charleston

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