Harrisburg police program gives teens opportunity in baseball

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Wednesday night, a championship baseball game was played in Harrisburg. The teams are part of a ‘teener’ league (ages 13-16) to stay in the game between Little League and Legion Leagues in the summer.

The title game saw Lower Dauphin beat the Harrisburg Police Athletic League, or PAL for short. The organization’s goal is to create ‘A Better Harrisburg through our Children’. Redirecting young teens into organized sports gives each player the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons for on and off the field, and provides the city another tool for reducing crime.

“When I got involved, my purpose was to coach players how to play the game the right way,” says Kyle Evans, the team’s head coach, “Things they can take with them off the field too, like respect, discipline, hard work. Character building is our big thing.”

For many on the Harrisburg PAL team, this is not only their first chance to play baseball, it’s the first organized sport they are a part of. In spite of this, Harrisburg made its deepest run this season since joining the league.

After their championship loss, Evans told the players, “Everybody here is impressed with how you played the game today, alright? Not only the plays we made, on the field, but how we acted.”

Character building like this is something a 13 year old in Harrisburg may not have been afforded 10 years ago. Now, they have the chance to win on and off the field.

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