Thorpe Report.

Minor baseball registration on the upswing in Nanaimo

Close to 600 young players are signed up and registration is now capped

BY IAN THORPE

One sure sign of spring is the crack of the bat on baseball diamonds. And while COVID has had a big effect on that, the sport is still up and running at most levels.

For the pros, the Major League Baseball season is well underway, though closer to home, the pandemic unfortunately caused the cancellation of the 2021 West Coast League baseball season. Local fans had been looking forward to the debut of the Nanaimo NightOwls, but that will have to wait until next spring. The upside is that the coming year will be used to do major improvements to the fencing at Nanaimo’s Serauxmen Stadium where the NightOwls will play their home games.

As for local minor baseball, the season has started and the atmosphere is very upbeat. A lot of hard work establishing safety protocols last year paid off with extremely high player registration for this season. In fact, it is the highest in the last five years, with close to 600 young players signed up and registration now capped.

Ehren Madill is the enthusiastic new president of the Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association this year, taking over from Mike Holyk. Also on the executive are first vice-president Kerry Anderson, second vice-president Craig Talbot, treasurer Mike Pellatt and secretary Kirsten Allen. Nick Holmes is the NMBA administrator and head coach, and other directors are Brandon Dornan, Nick Salahub, Mike Peters, Jenn Wedholm, Barry Wolfe, George Rounis,Dianna Laukkanen and Holyk. Division managers include Larson Bauck for U7, Steve Stacey for U9, Brandon Dorman for U11 and Geoff Schulson for U13.

Minor baseball is focused now on the spring house league, where teams have been formed for a season that began last month and runs through June. Of course, NMBA is carefully following all COVID-19 safety rules, policies and guidelines set out by ViaSport, the provincial government and B.C. Minor Baseball. With that in mind, teams to this point have been practising in anticipation of game play, which hopefully will be allowed before too long. The hope is that June will be filled with game play for the house leagues, with all-star teams then formed at the end of that month for a season that would extend through into August.

It should be noted that only certified coaches are allowed on the field with players. Spectators are asked to remain in or beside their cars and watch from a safe distance. The goal is to provide a completely safe and fun environment for young players to learn and play.

As part of the spring season, NMBA has also formed several competitive teams that will play a different schedule than house teams. Two of these are U13 AA teams to play in the Island League, with head coaches Thomas Leaf and Shane Rogers. Assistant coaches are Colin Borelli, Aden Richardson and Jake Nikirk. A U15 AA bantam team is coached by Curtis Slater, assisted by Sean Evans. On the roster are players Keenan DeWit, Marcus Evans, Damien Fraser, Ethan Garland, Hunter Hein, Matthew Hutchison, Cameron McElroy, Phoenix Poole, Max Rowe, Evan Slater, Rowan Spearing and Evan Young. The team will play in a B.C. Provincial League which runs until August.

Also in a B.C. Provincial League is a U18 college prep team comprised of players from Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Cowichan. Based in Nanaimo, the team is led by head coach Liam Goodall, assisted by Aidan Goodall and Tristan Olsen. We’ll have more on this team as well as summer all-star squads in a future column.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo’s Serauxmen Stadium getting another $1 million in improvements

Baseball

Just Posted

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read