COLOME-Amateur baseball is back in Colome.
The Colome Chaos are joining the Pony Hills League this season, ending a 40-year drought without amateur baseball in Colome. Chaos manager Ethan Vobr doesn't know the exact year of the last amateur team in Colome, but locals believe it was 1979.
A former South Central manager, Vobr began organizing the Chaos after last season and the fruits of his labor are coming to fruition now.
"It's nice to see something that you've spent months, months and time and money and effort come together," Vobr said. "Now it's time to go out and play. Hopefully, we have time to just kind of take a breath and see what we've built and hopefully it just keeps going for more than years I will be able to play."
Vobr and a group of five players left South Central to form their own team closer to home in Colome. It's now ballooned to 23 players on the roster, with players ranging from Colome, Winner, Gregory, Burke and Bonesteel.
The nearby Winner/Colome Pheasants will keep their name as is and continue playing in the Sunshine League. Vobr said technically the Chaos are Colome/Winner, but will primarily go by just Colome to avoid confusion.
Notable players include former Colome football coach Ben Connot and Colome girls basketball coach Kory Foss. Current Black Hills State University men's basketball player Hoyt Nicholas is also on the roster. Nicholas is a former Colome resident, but later moved to Wyoming and was the state's Mr. Basketball in 2016.
While the roster is full, Vobr said the biggest challenge will be keeping the players committed to the team. Vobr noted how some players haven't played baseball since Little League.
"They are just kind of weary on how it works because they haven't been around it," Vobr said. "... Just coming together as a team is going to be the biggest thing right away for us."
Scheduling shouldn't be an issue as the Chaos are in the eight-team Pony Hills League, which also includes Wessington Springs, Plankinton, Kimball/White Lake, Four Corners, Miller, South Central and Chamberlain.
"It's really competitive," Vobr said. "Now that we are adding more teams, it's going to help us get more bids to go to state and it's going to keep the scheduling nice and even and everything is just going to continue to be competitive and fun."
The Chaos lost their first game against Winner/Colome 18-0 in mid-May. They are scheduled to open league play tonight against Wessington Springs at Leahy Bowl in Winner. It's been moved due to unplayable field conditions in Colome.