Baseball Alberta gave the official nod to a few outstanding individuals and organizations in the east central region this year.
Among them, Castor Minor Sports was named the Small Association of the Year by showing their growth, organization and compliance with the various levels of Baseball Alberta programming.
“It is quite an achievement,” began Castor Minor Sports director and U15 boys baseball coach Jeff Bowen.
“There is no doubt about it and I think it’s a great feather in our cap for the players, the coaches, and definitely the parents.
Things like this don’t happen without a lot of commitment on a lot of different levels and a lot of these kids could go play AAA or could do spring hockey but they commit to come play in Castor and because of it we’ve grown and become a really, really strong program over the last few years.”
The association has approximately 170 registered players with three to four coaches per team, making a total between 30 and 40 volunteer coaches.
Bowen believes their success from this year has spoken volumes and has allowed them to stand out from the crowd.
“We’ve had some success,” said Bowen. “You know we always want to be humble but at the same time our U15 team won Western Canadians this year, our peewee team won tier four provincials. We had a girls team win provincials which is a different association but I think it just shows that a lot of our coaching and team strives to still be competitive and place a certain amount of priority on that competitiveness and challenging our players to win and play better.”
“Those kinds of successes are starting to get us some recognition for sure. In turn, I think they are helping grow the program too. I think people recognize our association is the place that they would like to come play because of those successes as well. They want to be apart of it,” he said.
Unlike city centres, the association is responsible for diamond maintenance and preparation, something they find beneficial to their player’s development and character.
“We include the kids in that and it’s a great learning opportunity for them and it helps team and community spirit to take care and have that kind of pride to have to do all those little things that perhaps other associations necessarily do,” he said.
Also receiving recognition is 2019 Off Field Manager of the Year, Sara Masse of Bashaw and Josh Paulgaard of Provost for Baseball Alberta Player of the Year.
The Baseball Alberta Awards are selected by the Baseball Alberta office staff and presented annually to a volunteer at each of the ‘A’, ‘AA’, and ‘AAA’ levels who is an excellent communicator in connecting his or her team to the other teams in the league and the Baseball Alberta office staff.
The Off Field Manager of the Year award recognizes this person as an “outstanding host who works tirelessly to make sure that visiting teams have a great play experience, and a superb administrator to take care of all the roster submissions, score sheets, pitch counts, diamond bookings, and umpire payments.”
Baseball Alberta’s Player of the Year is presented annually and selected by coaches as a player that has shown good sportsmanship, a dedication to the game of baseball and leadership qualities while exemplifying a high level of play on the field.