The second year for the North Shore Baseball Association is just about a wrap. This year has been another year of unimaginable growth and success – none of which would be possible without our incredible volunteer, parent and player support.
The season began with an incredible Opening Day Ceremony on April 8th. Over a thousand players and parents lined Chris Zuehlke Memorial Park and received warm greetings from MLA Bowinn Ma, Mayor Darrell Mussatto, BC Baseball President Mike Sarai and Platinum Sponsor Neptune Terminal’s Lisa Dooling. The day celebrated the strength of the association and all things fun in baseball including the running of the bases by our youngest of players. Players of all ages attended the event and many stayed for the entire day to share in all the fun activities including bouncy castle, face painting, “Crackle the Clown”, skills contests and free hot dogs (thank you to Thrifty Foods for their generosity!!)
With such tremendous growth in numbers at all age levels, we know that some field scheduling was a challenge. We are working closely with our municipal government representatives and other leagues to ensure field time is allocated in a fair and transparent manner based on numbers and need. We hope to have our field planning meeting in early September and we remain confident that the situation will be even better next year and in years to come.
At the 5U (Blast Ball) and 7U (T-Ball) divisions, we saw our most significant growth occurred at these levels. At this level, these players were exposed to the fun elements of baseball and ended their season with a fantastic year-end Jamboree including pizza, games and even a dunk tank. Congrats to 7U coach Kevin Zweep of the Blue Jays who won the Michael Dee MacLeod Memorial Award for 7U Coach of the Year.
At the 9U (Tadpole) division, teams experienced “real” baseball and competition was strong right through to the playoffs. All players donned their “JP” hats to honour of the memory of Coach Jay Piggot. As the regular season came to a close the NSBA Diamondbacks and Red Soxs were victorious in the regular season playoffs and many players went on to play on the 8U or 9U Select teams or participated in our Inside Performance development program. The 9U Selects even claimed victory at the Abercrumby Cup in early July.
At the 11U (Mosquito) division, with the size at this level, teams were divided into two sub-divisions. The AL division was provided the opportunity for an increased level of competitive play and the opportunity to interlock with other leagues like White Rock and Cloverdale. The NSBA Yankees from the AL division took home a tournament victory at the Cloverdale Selects. We also wish to recognize that Zoe Jones was awarded the Robbie Biddlecombe Memorial Award in recognition of her strong personal qualities on and off the field in keeping with the tradition of this prestigious award.
At the 13U (PeeWee) division, was even larger this year as many players chose to enter into BC (Minor) Baseball at this age level to experience a higher level of play and competition in preparation for many more years of baseball. Once again, NSBA fielded two competitive “AA” teams. Congratulations to the NSBA Black Sox who placed second in the John Main Invitational tournament. In addition to this our A-level teams played games on the North Shore, Burnaby, Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast and the 13U A Blue Jays took the WLM interlock championship. In the summer season, the AAA team has just returned from an incredible provincial tournament where the team advanced all the way through to the semi-finals. The 13U A summer team has also advanced into the provincial championship and we are excited to see how they will do. In the 13U division, Sam Beatty was awarded the Robbie Biddlecombe Memorial Award for his leadership on and off the field.
At the 15U (Bantam) division, our “single season” AAA and AA teams both had strong seasons and the AA team advanced through to the provincials. The 15U A-level Knights also defended NSBA’s WLM interlock division championship for the second year in a row and the summer team will continue to play through to mid August at the provincial tournament. We are sure to hear great things from this talented group of players who have already won their first two games this weekend.
At the 18U (Midget) division, our “single season” AAA team started strong and carried that energy into provincial tournament, winning some tough games. In 18U AA , although the NSBA was not able to hold onto the WLM interlock championship title, many of the teams did well in the regular season and the numbers were strong for the summer team as well. Congratulations to Jackson Pye Rogers, Jonathon Horne, Davis Mulder, Adam Nobes and Kourosh Ershad who were all awarded NSBA’s Nigel Moore Scholarships. We are so proud of everything you have done to represent the NSBA on and off the field.
At the 25U (Junior Men) division. we expanded from one to two teams and both teams played strong through the regular season including one team in the playoffs. We are excited with the growth in this division and know it will continue next year as many players are still interested in this option. One of our teams has also advanced to the semi-finals for the provincial championship – best of luck!!
Towards the end of the season, many of the NSBA families joined together for a number of events including our parent and coaches social, the coaches game and our Second Annual Vancouver Canadians Fundraiser on July 21st. Our thanks to the efforts of Stewart Reid of BMO Global Asset Management in selling tickets to the Vancouver Canadian game. Thanks to the support of Stewart and his team, the NSBA was able to raise over $1,000 in just that one night.
Thank you all for your support and your commitment to change and choice. Watch for upcoming announcements on Fall Ball registration, Winter Training and the Annual General Meeting. We look forward to providing more baseball, for more kids, to have more fun on the North Shore.
Wishing everyone a wonderful summer,
Board of Directors
North Shore Baseball Association