WLU baseball raises money for cancer

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. West Liberty University head baseball coach Eric Burkle expects his captains to be leaders on and off the field.

The first-year head man and his coaching staff made that a point of emphasis when the Hilltoppers selected their captains for the 2013 season.

Any player interested in serving as a captain was required to turn in a resume and pass a formal interview with the coaching staff just to be placed on the ballot for election by the team.

A total of nine players made it through the process and were elected captains.

Andrew Henry, a senior from Wheeling, W.Va., was elected team captain with three players Josh Graham of Carrollton; Drew Peterson of Alexandria, Pa. and Travis Denman of Williamsville, N.Y. elected as senior captains. Mike Johnson of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Josh Nagel of Martins Ferry and Jon Entenmann of Cross Lanes, W.Va. are the junior captains while sophomores Myron Jellison of Bethesda and Jon-Michael Brunner of Wheeling are underclass representatives.

The nine captains will meet with the coaching staff on a weekly basis, not only to address team-related issues but to discuss ways of making a positive impact on the campus and the community through fundraising drives and charity outreach.

“These guys have completely bought into the new system,” Burkle said.

“They believe the team can accomplish some really good things by working together as one cohesive group.

“They’ve already run four small fundraisers and a cancer drive almost entirely on their own while taking a leadership role in our off-season conditioning program.

“We’re very happy with the way they’ve risen to this challenge.”

As Burkle noted, these efforts are already bearing fruit. Earlier this week, the baseball team was able to make a $500 donation to ZEROCANCER.ORG following a successful “No-Shave November” campus fundraising campaign in support of the fight against prostate cancer.