WMBD/WYZZ-TV - PEORIA, Ill. Most high school baseball teams have conference games to start this week but you can't blame some of the players ifg they're looking forward to games at the end of the week.
"It's an honor for us, an excitement," said Notre Dame senior Nick Pudik. "We'll be amped for that game. We'll be ready to play."
Pudik's Notre Dame quad will be one of ten teams playing in the inaugural Ciproud.com Challenge. Five high school baseball teams from the Peoria area squaring off against five teams from the Bloomington-Normal area.
Oh, and the games are at Dozer Park.
"It's awesome being the first group to do it," said Olympia senior Zach Cleinmark. "Being the first ones out there. I think it's a good opportunity to show how good central Illinois baseball is."
The first game of the Ciproud.com Challenge will be Olympia vs. Washington at 5 p.m. Thursday.
"We've played at college parks, ISU and in Indianapolis this past summer," said Normal Community senior John Megles. "But I've never
played at a professional park. We are excited."
The games feature the Big 12 leader (Bloomington), Mid-State 6 leader (Notre Dame) and Mid-Illini leader (Washington).
"We're excited about the opportunity with the Ciproud.com Challenge, facing up against the Bloomington-Normal schools," said Metamora coach Eric Stone. "I think both areas have quality players, players going on to play at a high level. And a lot of great talent."
There are games at 5 and 7:30 on both Thursday and Friday. The second game on Thursday pits Metamora vs. Normal Community.
The Friday schedule is: Bloomington vs. Notre Dame (5:00) followed by Limestone vs. Normal West.
The single game Saturday night at 7:00 is IVC vs. U-High.
"I wish I could've done something like this when I was in high school," sais Washington coach Kyle Wisher. "We played at old Meinen Field, which is nothing compared to what they have now. This is something they'll remember the rest of their lives."