Steel make two trades; class changes made for amateur baseball

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Steel, who host Breezy Point on Friday night before hosting Granite City Saturday night, made two trades early this week.

First, being deep in defensemen, they traded Castor Mattos (and other assets) to Breezy Point for forward Austin Langworthy and then swapped forward Andrew Pitleck to Rochester for defenseman Micheal Smits.

Both players arrived in New Ulm late Wednesday.

“He (Langworthy) is one of the top players in the league, and it shows that we are serious and want to win the (Silver Cup) this year,” General Manager Bryant Black said.

This season, Langworthy, in 18 games for the North Stars, has scored 18 goals and added 19 assists.

“He is the all-time leading scorer for Breezy Point and you are going to see him with some of our best players on the ice. Breezy needed a defenseman. They are in last place in our division, and they are going through a youth movement now. We feel we are ready to win now.”

Mattos has one more year of eligibility, while Langworthy is in his final season of junior hockey.

They then moved Pitleck to Rochester for Smits, who was the Ice Hawks captain this season.

“He is going to come in and help us right away,” Black said. “He is going to play forward for us. He is a very versatile player and he gives us some flexibility.”

Black said that in his five years of ownership of the Steel that this was probably the best team that he has ever had.

“I am excited to see where this team can go,” Black said. “I would not want to be on the other side of the ice and be playing New Ulm. We have two goals here — one is to move the players on to the next level and get them into college hockey and the other is to win games and be able to play in Chicago for the Silver Cup.”

CLASS CHANGE FOR AMATEUR BASEBALL IN MINNESOTA

The Minnesota Baseball Association (MBA) is trying to simplify the classification process for Class “B” and “C” teams. Progress is being made according to Fred Roufs, Vice-President of the MBA.

“We are using three criteria for that,” Roufs said on Wednesday. “Within a community, you had the option of choosing either their school district population or their town’s population. Take New Ulm — every kid that graduates from New Ulm High School does not count against you as points (the number of points needed to be classified either “B” or “C” has not yet been determined as all of the teams have not yet sent in their information). Let’s say that New Ulm’s population is 15,000 and Searles is 1,000. New Ulm gets 15 points and Searles gets 1 point. But every New Ulm High School graduate that plays for Searles or another on town counts against them if they play or played college baseball. If they live in Searles, it does not count against them.

“The second part is college baseball,” Roufs said. “We go from Junior College to D-III to D-II to D-I, minor league baseball, major league baseball. If you had a player like Terry Steinbach play for Searles, it could be 6 or 7 points. If he played for New Ulm, it would be 0 (being a New Ulm graduate).”

Roufs said the third criteria is the team’s success in the state tournament and how far they have advanced.

“We would go back five years and look at that history,” Roufs said. “And once all of the teams information is received, there will be a ‘break point’ as to where a team will be placed.”

Roufs said that some “C” teams may be close enough that they may say “we got this kid from Mankato, he does not play, so we drop him and we are still Class “C“.”

However, if a player from your home town plays college baseball and comes back to play for his hometown team, “he currently would not count as any points against that team,” Roufs said. “We are encouraging you to use local kids and develop your local kids. If a town grabs an out-of-town player who plays college baseball, they will be assessed so many points.”

Roufs did say that Marshall, a long-time Class “B” team, has dropped down to Class “C” with one caveat.

“They can use only players from inside their city limits or kids who have graduated from Marshall High School — they do not have that 30 mile radius to use. They did not want to play in Class “B” anymore.”

The MBA meets again on Jan. 3, 2018.

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