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Submitted photo A view inside of the brand new indoor baseball/softball facility at Man.

MAN - Fast-forward to January of next year and a snowstorm has hit Logan County and the Man area, dumping six inches of snow across the region.

Temperatures have plunged into the 20s.

It looks like a deep freeze as Old Man Winter's iron fist has pounded down on southern West Virginia.

Baseball season and spring would then seem like a long way off.

But it won't be for the community of Man.

A new indoor baseball/softball facility has just been built in the Man area on the Man Middle School grounds and that will allow for Man area youth baseball and softball players to escape the winter cold to work on their game.

Mike Veres, a Man area Little League baseball coach, said the new indoor building will be a great thing for the area youth.

"In my opinion this is really going to be a game-changer for the youth in the Man area," Veres said. "These kids have always had such a desire to work even in the off season and when you are handcuffed by not having the proper facilities and the proper opportunity you can only do so much in those down months. Now, all of the youth in the Man area will have access to this batting cage under adult supervision of course."

Area players will be able to take batting practice and pitchers will have the opportunity to get their arms in shape.

"If a grandpa wants to take his grandson in there or if mom or dad wants to take their child in there they are going to have access to it," Veres said. "If a child wants to go and work and make himself better he will have that opportunity."

The facility is not yet complete. Pitching machines will have to be installed as well as the netting.

"We are getting ready to do the finishing touches on it," Veres said. "The inside of it is basically complete. We have to tell them how we want the netting."

The Man Little League is coming off an outstanding all-star season.

The Man Coach Pitch, Man softball team and the Man 10-12-year-old all-stars all won District 2 championships.

The Man 10-12 team, coached by Veres, were state runner-ups, eventually falling to Hurricane 5-3 in the state championship game recently at South Charleston.

"This has been a very special project for the Man community," Veres said. "This has been discussed for quite a long time and now we are seeing it into fruition."

Veres said the Logan County Commission spearheaded and funded the project.

"The County Commission spearheaded this project. They came to us and said, 'What do you need up here for the youth?'" he said. "They knew at the time that we did not have an indoor batting cage facility. Literally at the time we did not have an outdoor cage for the Little League. That's only three short years ago. The County Commission has been great to work with. Of course, Danny Godby is on the County Commission and he's an ex-ball player. He knows exactly what you need in this sort of thing."

Veres said land was donated at the site of the building.

"The facility is located at the middle school and the Logan County Commission agreed to put it there because the land is from the McDonald Land Company," he said. "Mr. (Art) Kirkendoll was able to arrange McDonald Land Company to have that property located for the Man Middle baseball and softball fields. It's a gorgeous piece of property. We are one of the few middle schools that have their own field. That's very unique in itself."

Similar indoor baseball/softball buildings have already been in place at Logan and Chapmanville.

At Logan, there's an indoor facility at the Logan Little League's Paul Hale Field. The Logan softball and baseball teams both have indoor batting cages next to their fields.

At Chapmanville, there's an indoor cage at Ted Ellis Field.

"There will be four batting cages so it will be able to comfortably house two teams," Veres said. "So we can have a Little League team and a softball team in there at the same time or maybe the middle school softball team with complete access and plenty of room to work."

Veres said the new building will primarily be used by Man Little League baseball and also for youth softball.

"It's primarily going to cater to the youth and the Little League side," he said. "The high school kids and the middle school kids have nice batting cage that they have access to on the high school side. They essentially already have a batting cage."

Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at padkins@hdmediallc.com.

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