Cougar peewees prove fine baseball host

What a class operation the coach and the people of Chilliwack proved to be, from beginning to end of this process.

I am writing not as the northern rep for B.C. Minor Baseball, but as a coach of the peewee Knights all-star team from Prince George, and asking that you include this note as correspondence for your next board meeting. I would also like this to be forwarded to the Chilliwack Minor Baseball Association and the regional/divisional representatives for B.C. Minor, if you will.

We contacted the head coach of the peewee Chilliwack Cougars Peewee AA baseball team, about coming down to play an exhibition series, and that took place this past weekend (April 21-22) at Fairfield Sports Complex. The idea came about after Chilliwack was named host of the peewee provincials, thinking it would be great to see their fields.

What is so key to get across is what this means to a northern program like ours, where we don’t get access to our regular fields until May. It puts us behind other programs, and at a serious disadvantage that we have to work very hard to overcome. We have been working out indoors, but this weekend in Chilliwack was the first time we’ve been able to let the kids run on grass, take fly balls, and take real batting practice. This weekend has extended our season by at least a month, with the preparation put into being field-ready to play in Chilliwack. The series drew players out earlier than usual for pre-season training, and that can only be a positive for our northern program.

There are so many great notes about the weekend; I’m not sure where to start. The field was outstanding, has to be the best in the province, and the people who take care of the whole complex are to be commended. Our team is extremely excited to know we will be back in Chilliwack for provincials on the August long weekend.

The Chilliwack coach went the extra mile in arranging so many things, with support from his other coaches and an outstanding group of parents. He arranged for us to play other teams – originally supposed to be with Burnaby, they backed out so the Cloverdale Colts team stepped in and were a tremendous opponent, exhibiting class while soundly defeating us 15-3. Our hats were off to them for their skill and sportsmanship.

He worked hard to ask teams from Abbotsford and Ridge Meadows to take part as well, but when they declined the Chilliwack team stepped up and played us the other three games, using all players in all situations, and the two teams worked together to focus on fun for the kids while encouraging player health (allowing pinch-runners for players with bumps and bruises, and line-up adjustments to ensure these young arms were properly ready for pitching assignments).

On top of this all, the Chilliwack group put on a barbecue for our team on Saturday evening, at the park, serving hot dogs, burgers, all the fixings, fruit and vegetables, refreshments – they not only served our players, they served our parents, grandparents, and other friends and family who made the trip down. We were blown away.

What a class operation the coach and the people of Chilliwack proved to be, from beginning to end of this process. Our players and parents could not have been more impressed.

Mike and Val, this weekend was perfectly indicative of the kind of exchanges that can and should take place within our ranks. Certainly, we are used to the travel requirements of playing high-level sports while living in a city like Prince George, and are always open to invitations to travel south of our city to find game action which can be tough to line up with no larger centres close to our home base.

Allow me to also use this good news story to let other peewee groups know that we feel we have a competitive team, thanks to an outstanding group of dedicated players and parents, and would welcome any team that is interested in a team-building road trip to Prince George this summer. We’d be so proud to host a team in P.G. for a weekend series, on our excellent fields, with our famous Prince George hospitality – we would only hope to come close to putting on the kind of weekend we so thoroughly enjoyed in Chilliwack. We hope the Chilliwack team itself is able to find a spot in a busy schedule to come to Prince George this summer.

Jim Swanson

Head Coach, Prince George Cap-Abilities Knights Peewee Baseball Club

Prince George Youth Baseball Association