The third year for the North Shore Baseball Association Spring baseball season has flown by at a breakneck speed. After an incredible NSBA Opening Day Ceremony on Saturday, April 7th at Chris Zuehlke Memorial Park, it was underway.
5U (Blast Ball) division, they kicked off the season with ten (10) teams of eager and excited kids. Many new players joined the league along with a good handful of returning players and coaches and managers. It’s been amazing watching these kids develop. What started with many players more interested in playing with the infield dirt quickly switched to hitting, running the bases and making some great plays! All this was made possible by the fantastic coaches and parents who exuded great patience and fostered fun with their players week after week. The season ended at the Year End Jamboree with pride on each of the players faces when presented with their trophy. A very big deal!
7U (T-Ball) division, they also had a great season with a record seventeen (17) teams. These players also ended the year at the Year End Jamboree. Each team got to play their final game at the Jamboree and families enjoyed the fun activities including bouncy castles, a dunk tank, face painting, and balloon twisting. At the Jamboree, the Michael Dee MacLeod Memorial Award was awarded to 7U coach Andy Prest, the head coach of the 7U Blue Jays. Congratulations Andy.
9U (Tadpole) division, they had a terrific season that was topped off with our inaugural 9U Jamboree held at Chris Zuehlke Memorial Park, with the championship games as well as a skills event. There were over 70 players and their families at the Jamboree and a great time was had by everyone. This year we also made some changes to the division schedule to increase practice times in order to support improved skill development and a better time on the field for both new and returning players.
11U (Mosquito) division, this was a special group of kids this year. The combination of seasoned NSBA players and many new players to the league became an easy fit for all the teams. These players were keen to practice and play as much as possible. This year, the 11U teams included a team from Squamish. Some highlights included teams placing first and second in three different tournaments. Practically all the finals came down to one to two runs in the final innings. On July 4th – 7th a dedicated group of volunteers in this division hosted the inaugural Jay Piggot Invitational Tournament at Eldon Park and Sowden Park. Check out the North Shore News Article on this great event.
13U (PeeWee) division, they burst with ten (10) teams as many players arrived to play a high level of competitive baseball. This meant we had to field three (3) AA teams and seven (7) A level teams. This year the A level included a new team from Squamish (the Titans). This team went on to place second in the regular season interlock. In addition to this, the AA Lions captured the interlock championship – a first for the NSBA! Both 13U and 11U players attended the Robbie Biddlecombe Memorial Awards ceremony at the end of the season. It was an honour to meet the representatives from the Biddlecombe family and to recognize three NSBA players who embody the character and values we remember from Robbie himself. Congratulations to Lucas Klas, Ryland Jones and Gavin Kawaguchi for being such fantastic individuals both on and off the field.
15U (Bantam) division, they successfully brought together players from every community across the North Shore. It was a pleasure for parents and players alike to get together with old friends and to meet some new faces this year. 15U had three “single season” teams – one AAA and two AA. All three (3) teams will play through to the end of July and hopefully into August if they make the provincials. NSBA also had four 15U A level teams and for the third season in a row one of these teams captured the interlock championship – well done Fridge Raiders!
18U (Midget) division, they had five teams in total this year – four AA teams and one AAA team. This year, the AA teams included a team from Squamish. All teams competed hard this year and the AAA team is working towards making provincials in August. Three players from our 18U AAA team were selected for the BC Minor Baseball Team BC 16U Selects – well done Kaj Burgess, Quinn Myles and Ivan Porter. In addition to this, the NSBA recognized four graduating players with the Nigel Moore Baseball Scholarship – congratulations Connor Buziol, Gerritt Duynstee, Brendan Griffiths and Michael Rohrwasser.
25U (Junior Men) division, this team is still playing to the end of July and then into the playoffs through to August 12th. At last report they were close to .500 and we know the success will continue.
We are also excited to report we have two (2) alumni players and one of our coaches who will be playing university baseball this Fall. Congratulations to Connor Buziol (18U AAA 2019) who will be playing NCAA baseball at Hilbert College in the U.S. as well as Alex Ferreira (18U AAA 2018) and Coach Thomas Curalli (15U AAA coach) who will both be playing for UBC. We are so proud of all of you.
This year, the NSBA hosted two Vancouver Canadians fundraiser events and a record number of players and families attended these games. Our thanks to Stewart Reid and the BMO Asset Management group for their continued support for this very popular fundraising event. In addition, our thanks to all our community partners and, of course, our platinum sponsors Anthem Properties and Neptune Terminals. Their generosity has helped to increase access to baseball for so many players in our community.
Lastly, our sincere thanks to each and every parent, guardian, and volunteer for their support. As a young and growing organization, your support matters! Next time you are at the field and catch a glimpse of that smiling baseball player, know that your support made this happen. On behalf of the NSBA Board of Directors, we wish all of you a wonderful summer and hope to see you at Fall Ball or for the next Spring Season.
North Shore Baseball Association