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Willmar now officially in Northwoods League

It's now a done deal: Ryan Voz and Marc Jerzak will own and operate a new franchise in the summer-collegiate circuit.

It's official: Ryan Voz and Marc Jerzak will own and operate the new Willmar expansion franchise in the summer-collegiate Northwoods League.

The team will play at Bill Taunton Stadium, which has twice hosted Northwoods League games. Willmar isn't the largest of communities — the last census pegged the population at 17,700 or so — but the pair have experience operating a Northwoods League team in a small town.

"Willmar is a very similar market to Alexandria and we decided to play a home game in Willmar during the 2006 season,” Voz said. "It was to our surprise what a great ballpark the community of Willmar had created and I have always thought Willmar could be a possibility for a Northwoods League franchise."

"After further review,” Voz continued, “the city of Willmar had a vision when the ballpark was rebuilt and we are excited to bring Northwoods League baseball to this fine market."

Voz has spent the last three years with the St. Cloud River Bats alongside fellow Vice President Marc Jerzak. In 2009 their responsibilities increased when the St. Cloud management also operated the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers to a successful first season of existence. In addition to Brainerd in ’09, Voz and Jerzak were both vital to the launch of Alexandria in 2001 when Voz was the GM and Jerzak was an intern.

"Everyday I'm more and more impressed with the people and the business leaders in the City of Willmar and the surrounding areas,” Jerzak said. “After being a part of several Northwoods Leagues markets, the pride and passion of the people towards baseball and their community is off the charts."

RELATED STORIES: Northwoods League expands to Willmar

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