GW Graham launching baseball phys-ed offering in 2020

The school adds baseball to a list of sport-specific offerings that includes football and basketball

GW Graham has a new phys-ed offering on the menu this fall, offering a sport-specific baseball class for the first time.

Students in Grades 9-12 will be able to sign up for the class.

Students will sign up for five morning blocks a week. They’ll have the choice of grabbing a second non-mandatory block right after that focuses on baseball-specific strength and conditioning.

A GW Graham phys-ed staff member will work with an elite-level community coach who will oversee most of the training from September through January.

“It is not an academy,” GWG athletic director Jake Mouritzen emphasized. “It is an opportunity for student-athletes at all levels to better themselves at baseball.”

GW Graham already has sports specific offerings in several sports including basketball, football, rugby and volleyball.

“We’re always looking to expand and baseball is one of the biggest growing sports in the province,” Mouritzen said. “Ever since the Toronto Blue Jays had their success (back to back American League Championship series in 2015 and 2016), baseball has been growing in Canada. We did our research to find out if there was interest in this, and we know that Chilliwack Minor Baseball’s registration numbers have gone up at the younger age levels over the last five years.

“There is a high demand for this opportunity. As soon as this idea started to get out in the community, people started reaching out to us.”

There is a part two to the baseball course, with GWG planning to run an elite-level group from the class that will travel down to the United States in the fall.

“In September and October, they have high school identification tournaments in the U-S where only high school teams can participate, and this would make us eligible to do that,” Mouritzen explained. “That’ll be piggy-backed onto the phys-ed aspect with a select group of kids, and run under the school’s athletics umbrella.

“The whole program is not just about developing baseball skills either. Students will also be getting their coaching certification, umpire certification, first aid and SAT prep and help with college recruitment, etc.”

The cost for the phys-ed baseball class is $900, which covers the coaching and field rentals at the Tzeachten turf field and (potentially) Fairfield Island.

Students participating in the travel-team add-on would face an additional cost.

Conducting classes off-site at Tzeachten is almost a necessity for GWG as its student population explodes.

As the school has transitioned from a Grades 7-12 middle secondary school to a Grades 9-12 high school, it’s become far more crowded.

It’s estimated there will be 1,500-plus kids in the building this fall.

“We’re going through a huge transition and now is the right time to do this,” Mouritzen said. “We’re growing exponentially and unfortunately we’re getting to a place where we have to get creative with how we provide instruction. One of the biggest challenges is the PE department because we don’t have anywhere to expand.

“Our classes are going to explode as quickly as next year with an additional five, six or seven PE blocks. So we’ve been proactive looking off-site and seeing what relationships we can build in the community.”

Sustainability is a potential pitfall.

A baseball program has launched twice and faded away quietly at Sardis secondary.

“We are ready for it and feel we have the staff to support it,” Mouritzen said. “We want this to be a project that will continue long-term, and our track record at GWG shows that the things we start tend to grow roots and succeed.”

GWG administration is supportive of the program, and principal Chuck Lawson is confident it will thrive.

“People make programs and we have great people involved,” he said. “We have strong community partnerships established (with Tzeachten and Chilliwack Minor Baseball), which is another major factor. And the demand is there. PE and student athletics is part of the fabric of GW Graham and I feel confident this will be a strong program that is established and will last a long time at this school.”

For more info, email

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Column: Grade school students don’t have a voice during COVID pandemic

As adults weigh pros and cons of returning kids to school, is anyone asking kids what they think?

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Chilliwack Salvation Army to give away free laundry detergent and more at drive-thru event

They will be handing out Tide detergent, toothpaste and eggs to anyone who is in need

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Twister at the Chilliwack SPCA

Small animals like rats are one of the first to be surrendered and last to get adopted

Fraser Valley Bandits fall to Edmonton in CEBL final

Bandits lose 90-73 to Stingers in Sunday’s Summer Series final

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Most Read