A group of Fayette County Senior League baseball all-stars have their sights set on a state title beginning later this week in Martinsburg.

The Upper Kanawha Valley Reds captured the District IV championship earlier this month. The state event will run from July 24 to 30.

Coach Dennis Chaffins said the team has played solidly this summer. He pointed to the years of experience the players have gained from playing together at the lower levels as being a big key. He also said four team leaders gained valuable experiences as members of the Valley High baseball team this past spring.

“The way this community has supported us has been amazing,” Chaffins continued. “Business leaders and individuals have really stepped up to the plate to help these kids make the trip to Martinsburg.

“We absolutely could not have done this without all the help we have received. I speak for the team and the parents when I say that we appreciate everything and everyone that helped out.”

Fellow coach, Darren Jones, echoed Chaffins’ comments that the community has been extremely supportive of the team. He also praised Valley High coaches Joe Craffey and John John McGinnis for their support.

The team is made up of Cody Winter, Robbie Belmont, Drew Jones, Tyler Chaffins, Mark Hess, Arik McGinnis, Slayton Beard, Tyler Clodfelter, Morgan McDermott and Hunter Hernandez. The roster is comprised of UKV players, with the exception of Hernandez, who hails from Fayetteville.

Team parents, coaches and members have staged several fund-raising activities, including a car wash, a yard sale/hot dog sale/purse party and donation center, and a splash party. They have also received numerous donations from local individuals and businesses.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to help defray costs of the UKV stars’ trip can contact Jennifer Chaffins at 304-389-0435 (cell), 304-779-2040 (home) or 304-442-2469 (work).

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