McBain United on the Diamond this Spring
MCBAIN – The McBain community will have one rooting interest on the baseball diamond this spring.
With numbers far too low to support a full roster, McBain Northern Michigan Christian, which had just won a Division 4 district championship in 2016, was left without a varsity program a year ago.
For Rich Smallegan, a father of two baseball-playing sons at Northern Michigan Christian, the news was tough to swallow.
“We just realized that at NMC, we did not have numbers viable for a baseball team at that point,” Smallegan said. “We got boys at our house and we don’t have a lot of tears, and we had tears… and dad too.”
That’s when Smallegan and others within the Northern Michigan Christian community stepped forward and got the ball rolling to form a co-op with McBain High School.
“Immediately our administration at NMC started the process of let’s see what we can do next with the co-op and I’ll forever be gracious to those people for that because they took right off on it,” Smallegan said. “Within a couple weeks, we had some processes laid already in place, or they did, and it just has to go one step to the next.”
“They had to come to us and inquired about the possibility of us co-oping with them,” McBain coach Doug Smith said. “It immediately goes to our athletic director, then it goes to the school board, school board approves it, their school board approves it, then it goes to the conference, then the MHSAA approves it.”
Now three Comets are trading in their maroon and gold uniforms for green and gold ones, and joining their neighbors and summer league teammates on the same roster this season.
“I’ve been playing baseball with a lot of these guys since kindergarten, all the way up through elementary and middle school, and now I’m playing with them again,” NMC senior Kirk Smallegan said.
“It’s good to have them,” McBain senior Andrew Sikkema said. “It’s good numbers. It’s good talent. It’s fun to have them here.”
The co-op will last for two years and will need to go through the same approval process again in two years.
“I’m looking forward to watching baseball again this spring,” Rich Smallegan said. “Getting to watch them play with the guys they’ve grown up playing summer ball with is really going to be fun.”
McBain is scheduled to play a doubleheader at Kingsley on Monday.