End of an era for Temple University baseball

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It's the end of an era for the Temple University baseball team. (WPVI)

It's the end of an era for the Temple University baseball team.

Heavy hearts filled Campbell's Field in Camden during the Owls' final home game ever.

"Today is about living in the moment, knowing we're the last team putting on this uniform at home," said Ryan Kuehn, senior.

"There's a lot of things going through my mind but it's here now, hard to believe it's over," said Coach Ryan Wheeler.

Coach Skip Wilson, now retired, spent 40 years as the Owl's coach. He sat with alumni to say farewell.

"It's very sad. I'm sorry to see this happen, it didn't have to happen," he said.

Temple University's Board of Trustees' decision to cut five athletic programs, including baseball, cam over the winter. They cited poor facilities, title 9 compliance and financial commitments.

Coach Wheeler tried to save the program. He made arrangements with Campbell's Field to hold home games, plus the Phillies agreed to let the Owls use their practice facilities.

After six key players left, Wheeler even managed to bring the team to the playoffs.

Parents say this brought out the best in their boys.

"They've handled themselves with pure class and to be honest, some adults should take a lesson on how to handle themselves," said one parent.

"Because of what happened, there are kids who will forever be united as a group," said Lauren McCarthy, parent.

"We're showing the administration that they can compete in the conference and they are contenders," said Monica Kerrigan, parent.

Coach Wheeler isn't ruling out extra innings.

"There's a part of me that wants to believe there's an opportunity for the program to come back but I do think it's over," he said.

The Owls did not win their final home game but they are in the playoffs and will play next week in Clearwater, Florida.
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sportsbaseballtemple universityphilly newssportsNorth PhiladelphiaCamden
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