Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bobcats, league make changes for 2012

By DEREK McCREE
THE CRITTENDEN PRESS
With six months before the Marion Bobcats begin a fifth season, major changes are happening off the field. The Ohio Valley League president and founder, Gordon Guess, is stepping down from his four-year run as the general manager of the Bobcats due to health-related issues.

Kory Wheeler will take over the reigns as the team's general manager, with Guess remaining as the Bobcats CEO and league president. Wheeler is one of the team's original investors and a member of the Bobcat Executive Committee.

"She is a great detail person and has been actively involved with the Bobcats since the beginning," Guess said of his replacement.

The Bobcats will enter next season with a new skipper at the helm as well. Guess has tapped former Bobcats shortstop Drew Barrett to take over for Kyle Medley who coached the team to a 20-22 overall record last season. Barrett played for the Bobcats in 2009 and his collegiate career has consisted of a stint at Wabash Valley College before finishing his career at Lindsey Wilson College. Barrett was an assistant coach for the Owensboro Oilers last season.

The new Bobcats coach has started the process of filling the roster for the team and Guess said he is hoping to get several players to return from last year's team.

One major shakeup in the league for the upcoming season is with the Tradewater Pirates. Dawson Springs will no longer host a team in the Ohio Valley League. Former Bobcat coach Steve Fowler left his post as the coach of the Oilers and will head a new Pirates franchise, now based out of Madisonville. The new team will be called the Madisonville-Tradewater Pirates.

"We are glad to have Madisonville join our league and are still actively pursuing additional franchises in Hopkinsville, Paducah and Mayfield," Guess said.

As of now, Guess said the league remains at four teams and is working to get games broadcast on the Internet and radio for every home game.