Galion Graders

Members of the Galion Graders stand for the national anthem during a 2016 game. The Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League announced Wednesday it was canceling its 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

GALION — The Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League is shutting it down for the year.

The GLSCL board of directors announced Wednesday the 2020 season would be canceled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. League officials had hoped to begin play on July 1, but with no end of the health crisis in sight the goal became unrealistic.

“In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting government regulations, the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League Board of Directors has voted to cancel the 2020 season,” the league said in a release Wednesday. “The directors determined it would be impossible to operate effectively while insuring the safety of all involved.”

Galion Graders general manager Mike O’Leary said the league was left with no other option than to pull the plug.

“While the Galion Graders are saddened to not grace the field this summer, we (hope) all of our friends and fans accept we are living in uncertain times,” O’Leary said in a release. “We, like the rest of the league, are focused on the health and safety of our community and everyone involved with our operation.”

Earlier this month O’Leary addressed some of the potential problems the league was facing. One of the biggest obstacles for all summer collegiate leagues is a shortage of host families.

“I’ve talked to the GMs of some well-established teams and they have seen a 50-percent drop in host families,” O’Leary said at the time.

The 12-team league plans to resume operation in 2021.

“The GLSCL would like to thank our dedicated directors, officers, volunteers and sponsors for their loyalty and support,” the league said. “We look forward to bringing you the best summer collegiate baseball in the Midwest in 2021.”

In the meantime, O’Leary encouraged Graders fans to help prop up the local economy.

“Our fans and local businesses are our biggest supporter and during these uncertain economic times we want to encourage community support,” O’Leary said in a release. “We all have been affected in some way by this pandemic.

"But now, as Ohio and Galion start to reopen, we ask all of you to support each other. … We are all in this together.”

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I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

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