Derry, Lower Burrell, Trafford, Yough join District 31 Legion

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Thursday, April 4, 2024 | 6:26 PM


District 31 American Legion baseball doesn’t start until May 20, but the league has made offseason noise by expanding to 14 teams.

Jason Bush, who serves as the District 31 president and Region 7 director, believes the league is the largest in the state.

“We were actually in talks with three other teams,” Bush said. “So we could be even larger next season. We’ll see how things go for them in the offseason.”

District 31 has expanded to Somerset, Indiana and Armstrong counties. There are teams from Allegheny County that have approached Bush.

Past Westmoreland County communities that fielded teams included Slickville, Kiski Valley, Manor, Scottdale, West Newton, Irwin, Valley, West Hempfield, Jeannette, Greensburg, South Greensburg and Fort Allen.

“Our expansion is a testament to our coaches, and it shows we are doing things right. We’re providing a good brand of baseball where kids don’t have to travel all around and can play for their communities and with their friends.”

The league had 10 teams in 2023, but with the addition of Derry, Lower Burrell, Trafford and Yough the league expands into two divisions — east and west.

The teams in the east will be Blairsville, Derry, Homer City, Latrobe, Somerset Unity and Young Township. The west teams are Bushy Run, Hempfield East, Lower Burrell, Mt, Pleasant, Murrysville, Trafford and Yough.

The teams will play a 19-game schedule (12 division games and one against the other seven teams in the opposite division). The regular season is scheduled to end July 7 with the playoffs beginning July 9.

Four teams will advance to the Region 7 tournament at Claysburg. Murrysville will host the state tournament, but the games will be played at North Allegheny.

“Some of the teams that returned were because their high school coaches got involved and wanted to see their players playing and playing with their teammates,” Bush said. “It’s exciting to see more kids play for their community teams instead of spending thousands of dollars to play tournaments.”

Bushy Run was the 2023 champion, and Latrobe finished second. Murrysville finished third.

Bushy Run fell to Beech Creek in the Region 7 finals.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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