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By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Could the bitter battle in Keizer youth sports actually be nearing an end?

Representatives from both Keizer Little League (KLL) and Keizer Youth Sports Association (KYSA) indicate the two groups are working on a merger.

Clint Holland indicated during the annual Keizer Parks Tour on Monday evening a merger was being worked on.

“I’ve heard they merged the two groups,” Holland said. “KLL would take the younger kids, while KYSA would take the older kids.”

KYSA president Kurt Barker and KLL official Jamie Vasas both told the Keizertimes on Tuesday a merger is indeed being worked on.

“We have not merged,” Barker said. “The two boards are talking and trying to figure out a plan going forward. That is the ultimate goal, to merge and form one big group. I think we’re going to have something in place this next year for a temporary situation. Hopefully by the following winter we should be one big happy family.”

Barker envisions having both tournament baseball teams as well as non-tournament teams, under one umbrella organization.

“Families could pick whichever type of baseball they want to be a part of,” Barker said. “We want to have the options so all of Keizer’s kids are being taken care of in Keizer.”

Vasas noted he became involved in KLL after the acrimonious little league split of 2008 and never quite understood why Keizer had two competing organizations for youth baseball.

“This is one thing I’ve always wanted,” he said of a merger. “It’s been ridiculous what we’ve had in the past. There’s no reason we can’t do this. I want to have both programs play under one umbrella group.”

Vasas, who noted Barker was invited to a recent KLL board meeting, feels a merger will be in place by the time the 2015 season gets going.

“Nothing is really set yet, since baseball just got over for the year,” he said. “But that’s what our plan is for next year.”