College baseball players make a splash with kids in Nelsonville

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) – On Wednesday, smiles and laughter from college baseball players and the community of Nelsonville filled the afternoon at the city’s pool.

Southern Ohio Copperhead Kyle Ratliff smiles with community members in the pool at the Nelsonville Aquatic Center
Kyle Ratliff plays a game of catch at the Swim With the Snakes event at the Nelsonville Aquatic Center [Maria Monesi | WOUB]
“I have a lot of fun out here,” outfielder Kyle Ratliff said. “Playing in the pool and meeting new people. It’s actually kind of cool, some people, like, come to the games and know who you are and stuff. It’s pretty awesome, so I’m having a blast out here.”

The Nelsonville Aquatic Center hosted the Southern Ohio Copperheads, a summer collegiate league based in Athens, for a Swim With the Snakes event. The afternoon at the pool is the team’s way to connect with fans. 

There was food, games and contagious smiles. At least a dozen kids joined players in the water to play sharks and minnows and Marco Polo. For Copperheads player Jordan Long, the event brought back childhood memories.  

“It truly means a lot because I know growing up there was a summer team around me in Dayton,” Long said. “I used to remember a lot of players, like they used to interact with us.”

Long is grateful to be on the other side now as a player. 

“It’s actually a blessing to be able to impact people’s lives,” he said.