The Cage moves to new location in Tuscola
By Dominik Stallings
Locals are able to hone their baseball and softball skills at The Cage, a training facility in Tuscola.
The Cage moved from Tolono in Champaign County into Tuscola’s downtown area at the beginning of May. They are now located at 125 W. South Central in Tuscola.
Ryan Tabeling, the owner of the Cage, said the building he was leasing in Tolono was sold. Luckily for him, Brett Adkisson reached out to him and showed him the space on South Central. Tabeling said he saw the possibilities in the new space and within a week, he started moving forward with the move.
“It’s always nerve-wracking to make a move,” said Tabeling.
He’s now moved his business twice, and each time, he’s been worried about losing some of his clients. Every time he does move, coincidentally a bit further south each time, he finds new ones. He first started out in Champaign 15 years ago with his brother Shawn Tabeling. They opened up the business in a small warehouse with two cages. They both wanted to open a business for their children when they played travel ball.
“It was basically just finding a way to find opportunities to help the local programs in the area,” said Tabeling.
Folks who have used The Cages’ services before will see the same familiar faces. Donna Dibiase, Eddie Edwards, Riley Myers, Andrew Erickson, Erin Walker, Shelby Martell and Jon Fisher are the instructors, teaching aspiring players how to play better. Each instructor has experience in playing softball, baseball or coaching the sport.
“We have a current clientele which is really loyal to us, a lot of that is just how good our instructors are. That’s how our business has been able to maintain over the years,” said Tabeling, “ The number one thing is giving clientele good instruction and feedback.”
Instructors cant teach one-on-one and in small groups. Tabeling said that they also do clinics for fielding, hitting or pitching, pretty much anything baseball or softball related. They are also going to launch hitting and pitching camps soon, some of which are for a day, others for multiple weeks.
For those wishing for a baseball or softball themed birthday, with the new location, the Cage is able to rent out the space for a celebration.
The newest addition to the Cage is a golf simulator. Tabeling thought it would be something the community is interested in, since the Iron Horse golf course is nearby.
Business hours for the cage are currently by appointment. You can make appointments on their website, cuatthecage.com.