The resurgence in local baseball continues apace.
From the minorest minors to senior play, competitive results are trending upwards.
The Sr. Orioles made a strong run in the provincial championships, which isn’t easy when the top contenders hail from larger areas with either baseball academies or university baseball programs which include scholarships.
The U16 Orioles won everything they could win this year, and won it all easily.
The major Little League squad, a bit younger, I’m told, than usual, was mostly very competitive in their provincials, including a win over the host, championship finalists Little Mountain.
And, the minor Little League club, with a slightly limited roster available, got to a few tournament finals in their travels.
Next season may be very interesting on all fronts.
Just gotta keep doing what we can to support the organizers and players at all those levels in order for the surge to continue.
• Meanwhile, the ice is in, and hockey is only a couple of weeks away.
This will not be a make or break season for local junior teams – but, progress must be seen to be made. The Smoke Eaters, it seems, know who will be in the lineup, and have a number of pre-season games to get them all to mesh.
As we have seen, a strong start does not a season make, but it never hurts to hit the schedule in full stride, and the club has made every effort to allow just that to happen.
• It is unfortunate the Home of Champions’ bid for the national Junior A championship was not successful, but, nothing precludes another effort next time the tournament rotation swings in this direction.
It is hard for local aspirants, sometimes, to get people to take this area seriously as a big time host venue. People elsewhere – who make all the decisions – simply do not appreciate the carrying capacity – expertise, facilities, lodgings, volunteers and amenities – our area possesses, because, you know, this is just a small population resource extraction area, or at least that is the vision they have.
Not entirely their fault, as we have sold the image of a rural area out-slugging its weight over the decades. It is long past the time for everyone involved in the promotion of the area to get the corrected picture – of a place with more than adequate facilities for almost every activity, and generally up to date technical infrastructure – out to top of mind for the folks who evaluate aspirants for their prized events.
I know they try, but they do it poorly. One-on-ones I have with big city folks leave them amazed at the wide spectrum of quality facilities, both natural and artificial, available to residents and visitors alike.
That should be our advantage over other, more crowded and less well furnished places. Get that picture out there, and some of these big events might be lining up at our door.