Hoping to build on the success and growth of the league last season, the Williams Lake Minor Fastball Association president is looking forward to the upcoming season of youth ball in the lakecity.
“We’re looking for another strong season and hoping all the young, talented ball players return this year with registrations still being accepted,” said Nick Surette, WLMFA president.
Last season, more than 160 players played in the league, Surette said, noting the WLFA has seen impressive growth in the past several years.
He wants to see enough players registered to have teams in each division including T-ball, U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 and U19.
“This year we are looking at getting a coach’s clinic to help out the parents who aren’t sure on coaching,” he said. “We want to make ball even better than last with designated game nights so parents or friends, if they can volunteer or help out as umpire, please contact us.”
Last season’s two rep teams — the U12 and the U14 Prospects — both had success during last year’s provincial championships. The Prospects U12 squad claimed a bronze medal, while the U14 team finished fifth.
Surette said he hopes the upcoming coaching clinic, slated for May 4-5 at Thompson Rivers University, will also help build on last year’s successful seasons.
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“We’re looking to have a little more fun this year, and with the coaching clinic we can get some more people on board to coach so we’re not struggling in that regard and have people who want to be coaching a team,” he said.
League nights will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Dave Means Ball Park at Esler, with league games beginning at 6 p.m. T-ball to U8 division runs until around 7 p.m. and U10 to U18 runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Surette said they are still waiting for the fields to dry out, however, hopes to have practices beginning to run by the end of April.
“As soon as we can get on the fields we’ll let people know,” he said.
“We’re hoping if numbers are up we’ll have one night for just practices and one night for strictly games. And we’ll also have, near the start of the season, a bring a friend night for free to see if they want to play.”
Surette thanked all the businesses who helped make last year’s season a success: Pioneer Log Homes, Pioneer Logging, Full Tilt Contracting, West Fraser Truckers, Canadian Tire, Shoppers Drug Mart, Red Tomato Pies, Caribou Ski Source for Sports, Gibraltar Mine, Finning, Caron Services and Western Financial for sponsoring house league and rep teams.
Registration can be completed either on the WLFA’s Facebook page or by calling Surette at 250-302-1748.
Surette will also be in the arena lobby at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays accepting registration for the upcoming season.