Little League opens season

Trail Little League baseball throws out its first pitch on Saturday to open the 2015 Minor and Major season.

The boys and girls of summer hit Andy Bilesky Park this weekend as Trail Little League baseball throws out its first pitch on Saturday to open the 2015 Minor and Major season.

Following three evaluation camps for local players last week, Trail Major coach and organizer D.J. Ashman was impressed with both the numbers and talent of the over 100 players that participated.

“We had 111 last year, and this year I think were at about 113-114 which is awesome.”

The age 11-12 Major division will see two Trail teams compete again this year in an eight team league that welcomes Okanagan Falls and Salmo into the fold, along with a Castlegar team, the defending champion Beaver Valley Yankees, and two Nelson squads.

“I think it’s going to be good,” said Ashman. “I think we have two pretty balanced Trail teams and I just think it’s going to be a fun year. For Mike (Boisvert) and I, we’re coaching like nine of 12 kids on our team that we haven’t coached before so it’s going to be awesome.”

In the age 8-10 Minor division three Trail teams, the Red Sox, Pirates, and Mariners will take to the field against three Castlegar teams, two Nelson squads, Beaver Valley, Salmo, Kaslo, and Grand Forks. In addition, four rookie teams of 7-8 year olds will play in a format that concentrates on development and will rotate between playing games and practising skills throughout the season.

“Compared to two years ago, we’re like up 30 per cent, so it’s really good and we’re trying to grow it as much as we can,” said Minor coach Jim Maniago. “We’ve got great coaches all the way through, great coaches in the rookie division. We’re pretty excited actually, it’s a great bunch.”

During the season, Ashman and Maniago will identify players for the Major and Minor Allstar teams, and run tryouts in early June to select the teams and prepare for provincial playdowns.

“I’m always looking and I’ve already talked to Jason Startup in Fruitvale and he’s going to keep us posted, and talked to one of the Nelson coaches about Allstar because three or four of the kids played on that 9-10 team,” said Ashman.

The addition of Okanagan Falls and Salmo is a surprising if not a strong addition to the Trail Major league, and reportedly OK Falls will also field an All Star team that will play against Trail for the right to advance to the provincials.

“So it looks like for Little League we’re going to have a district championship this year for the first time in I can’t remember how long,” said Maniago. “ So they (the Major All Stars) will have to play off against Okanagan Falls and Cranbrook, and we’re hoping that the Minors will be the same, that we’ll have to play off against Cranbrook to get to the provincials.”

But first, Trail Little League will showcase its players on opening day with the first game going between the Minor league Mariners vs the Red Sox at 10 a.m. The Opening Ceremonies go at noon with a special nod to Brad Elliot who was invited to throw out the first pitch. Elliot retired this year after 49 years of umpiring.

“He (Brad) is a guy that’s been around for a long time and has contributed so much, and we just wanted to acknowledge all his years, and the contributions he’s made,” said Maniago.

At 12:30 p.m. the Major Dodgers play the Rangers, and at 2:30 p.m. the Minor Pirates face Castlegar, while all four rookie teams hit the small field after the opening ceremonies.

The concession will also be in full swing for residents to enjoy a hotdog or hamburger and a little Little League action on Saturday.

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Trees blown over by a windstorm in forest owned by Anderson Creek Timber. Photo: Anderson Creek Timber
Timber company logging near Nelson raises local concerns

Anderson Creek Timber owns 600 hectares of forest adjacent to the city

Keith Smyth, Kootenay Savings director at-large joins children from the Kids’ Care Centre at St. Michael’s Catholic School. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Savings continues credit union’s tradition of giving

Funding totalling $48,250, is going to a wide array of Kootenay initiatives

From left: Karl Luedtke (West Arm Outdoors Club), Dale Williams (BCWF), Molly Teather (FLNORD), Gord Grunerud (West Arm Outdoors Club), Eugene Volokhov (Grand Prize Winner), Casey McKinnon and Lex Jones (Jones Boys Boats). Photo: Tammy White, Whitelight Photography
Balfour man lands big prize from angler incentive program

Eugene Volokhov of Balfour is now the proud owner of a sleek 18-foot Kingfisher boat

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Most Read