- Associated Press - Sunday, May 25, 2014

ADA, Okla. (AP) - Travis Graham just couldn’t wait any longer. He’s bringing American Legion baseball and the Ada Braves back.

Graham and the Braves rode off into the sunset after winning a Majors state championship in 2011. The itch to coach a legion team again became too intense to ignore any longer.

“It was something I kind of debated on. I’ve had a lot of people show interest in it, and I really have a passion for it,” he told The Ada News (https://bit.ly/1m4jUoc).

Graham, who has been the head baseball coach at Holdenville for the past six years, will still oversee the Wolverines summer team but looks forward to the revival of the Ada Braves.

“I enjoyed it as a player, and I definitely enjoy it as a coach. I enjoy being around those kids,” he said.

Graham is bringing in East Central University head coach Dino Rosato to help him during the summer of 2014. Rosato joined ECU in July of 2009. This spring his squad raced out to an impressive 20-10 start before faltering down the stretch.

“I know he wants to be around (the Braves). He just came off one of East Central’s most successful baseball seasons (in recent history),” Graham said. “They will get to know him, and he gets to know them as well.”

While most home games will be played at ECU, Graham said he’s working on other possible venues in the area to host a home game or two.

One of the most important things about running an American Legion baseball team, according to Graham, is getting players a chance to be seen by college coaches and scouts.

“We can get some of the kids the kind of exposure they need and showcase their talent,” Graham said. “We want to give them every opportunity to go play college ball.”

Graham fully expects to field a team that will be a state tournament contender despite starting over from scratch.

“I think there’s a lot of talent and ability out there. We’ve always had a pretty competitive team. This is a great area to draw from and go compete with,” he said.

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Information from: The Ada News, https://www.adaeveningnews.com

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