Future of Big Coal River Little League fields in question due to mine belt installation

Raleigh County
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Imagine every summer being able to go out and play baseball with your friends. But one day, it is all gone.

The Big Coal River Little League in Pettus, Raleigh County is possibly dealing with after being around at least six decades. Around 160 kids playing both baseball and softball are participating in the league this summer. 

League Treasurer Marsha Evans said if the field no longer exists, it would tear the league apart. 

“Moving us would mess up our little league. We are in boundaries,” Evans said. “It would pull our boundaries down and it would pull our kid count down. Some would go to Trap Hill and some to Boone Northern.”

Evans and League President Rodger Clay said they have been in talk with Contura Energy for two years since they were notified of the future plans for the fields. 

“They are wanting to put a belt line through our ball fields right now,” Clay said. “We would like to keep the ball fields here, if there is anyway possible that we can do that.”

In a statement sent to 59 News, Contura Energy said the following:

“We acknowledge and understand the history and long-standing community connection to these ball fields.  It is important to note that we are very early in the planning stages on this project.  We have been and will continue to be in communication with the Little League, and we’re committed to trying to find a solution that is satisfactory to both parties involved.” 

Clay said they are hoping to be able to keep the tradition alive for years to come.

“These ball fields have been here for well over 50 years,” Clay said. “We would want to keep them here as long as we can if possible.”

Evans said the last time she spoke to Contura Energy, they wanted to plan a meeting within the next two weeks to discuss options. 

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