Little league is back for a second season on the North Coast.
North Coast Minor Baseball Association (NCMBA) is primed for the fisrt pitch of the year after a successful inaugural season in 2016. Last year, 150 kids played baseball in Port Edward for the first time in 20 years.
“The snowfall in March makes you think it’s a lot farther off than it is,” laughed NCMBA president Emily Kawaguchi. “But the Blue Jays and Mariners are in (season), and a sunny weekend will have everybody dreaming of running the bases really soon.”
But this year, the league is rolling out some changes. In addition to adding some new pitching machines and training equipment, the league is also adding an older age division to include boys and girls in Grade 5 and 6.
“Our goal is to grow the league’s age groups as our players grow older,” said coach Ken Veldman. “Grade 3 to 6 will play good overhand baseball just like the major leaguers, and we’ll keep building skills through teeball for Grades 1 and 2, and blastball for kingdergarten and under.”
The games will be held at McKeown Field in Port Edward once again this year, a field that has drawn rave reviews for its condition from players, parents and coaches alike.
“It’s the best field in the area in terms of condition, its true bounces and its ability to handle water. We didn’t see one puddle all year,” said coach Mark Verde.
The season begins the last week of April. Online registration can be done at www.northcoastball.ca. For more information, contact Veldman at 250-600-0670.
“Last year was so gratifying to see how much fun the kids were having. And in typical Rupert fashion, we had so much help from parents, volunteers, local business sponsors and the District of Port Edward. We couldn’t have done it without them,” Kawaguchi said.