Trail’s American Legion teams are warming up for another season and, if all goes well, three teams will hit the field against their Washington State counterparts this year.
The Trail ‘A’ Orioles are all set to play in the Washington State American Legion single-A summer league after a successful run last season. The single-A Orioles went 10-8 in the regular season and secured a playoff berth, and look to go even further this season.
The Trail AA Orioles boasted back-to-back success seasons under coaches Ron and Kyle Mace, making it to the State championship in 2015 and the Districts last year, but numbers are down and the team is in danger of taking a one-year leave of absence from the WSAL league if more players don’t step up.
AA Orioles new coach, David Colquhoun, has been rallying local players to commit, but the 16-18-year old demographic for AA ball is a tough one to call.
“We were close to having a legion team, there’s some kids that come out of the woodwork, but then we lost another one, so it’s kind of going back and forth,” said Colquhoun. “We have some kids that are going to play with the Orioles, some that want to train for hockey, but mostly it’s just an off year.”
In contrast, the 13-year-old players are percolating, and it looks like there will be an additional team travelling south to play elite ball.
“Another thing we’re working on is looking at having a 13-year-old team because we have an abundance of 13-year-olds, which is awesome,” said Trail Youth Baseball executive member Scott Calvin. “So we’re just getting that organized.”
The team would play in the Spokane Indians Youth Baseball League (SIYBL) and give Trail’s 13-year-old players a competitive bridge linking Little League to single-A baseball.
“It’s a 12-14 game commitment so it’s not too huge, and we’re confident we can make that happen,” said Calvin. “The more opportunities there are for kids, the more they want to play … and when we have an abundance of these kids, we definitely want an outlet for them.”
The SIYBL and WSALB leagues start play at the end of May, but teams must be finalized before the end of the month. The biggest fear in youth baseball is seeing a repeat of the Trail AAA Jays team that folded in 2013, but Calvin is hopeful.
“Were confident that we’re going to make this double-A thing fly, and also get a 13-year-old team and be back to three teams again.”
Trail Youth Baseball will hold an evaluation practice for 13-year-old players on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Butler Park. Anyone interested in coaching should also contact Calvin or TYB president Brad Elliot.