Just Jump

Tales from the Doug-out: April 25th

Most true athletes are good at all kinds of sports. We all love hockey, at least I assume we do, but sometimes you have no choice and are forced to try something else besides hockey.
Like they say, ‘if you come to a fork in the road, take it!’
This year without a bantam girls hockey team in town and not wanting to travel to Vermilion or Cold Lake to play on a female hockey team, Avery ‘Whirlwind’ Warawa tried out for and made it onto a competitive travelling club volleyball team based out of St Paul. ‘Whirlwind’ is a very competitive athlete in all sports.
The St Paul Rage played in a lot of tournaments this past winter and this past weekend competed in the Division #2 Provincials. There are five divisions with number one being the toughest so Division # 2 is right up there with the best, and the Rage finished  the Division # 2 Provincial in 5th place overall. Also on the team from our area is Jessie Kurek. Way to go girls!!
A week ago, I would have said we will never play ball outside by the first of May. I should know better, never say never!  Today I say ‘ Lets play ball!’. What a difference a week can make.
Ball season starts the first week of May, and every year right after we get going we have some rain, snow or wild wind. But we all know what this year has been like. Winter was holding on forever, and then one day it just let go.
The kids have been practicing indoors for a few weeks now and who knows maybe this week they can finally go outside to throw the ball around. There may be a few wet spots but no different than any other year.
The Softball umpire clinic was held last Saturday, in Elk Point. By the way ‘Whirlwind’ and her sister Rylee ‘ the Rocket ‘ Warawa both attended it. Believe it or not, girls can umpire too!
The last two nights, the Baseball umpire clinic is being held in Bonnyville. This is a terrific way for youngsters to learn the rules of baseball and believe me there are plenty, but as they gain some confident doing some games they can make some really good money. Another really great way to learn the fundamentals of baseball is to attend a skills clinic.
This past weekend I attended the Timberwolf Baseball camp at the C2, in Bonnyville, with my 5 year old granddaughter Vienna and my 12 year old grandson Phoenix.
Parents and coaches are encouraged to help out with the drills, which of course I did. You’re never too old to learn, or too young as in Vienna case. She is a southpaw and wants to play baseball with the boys, just like her older brother Phoenix.
Considering how many really good batters I have seen over the years struggle trying to hit the ball off of a lefty pitcher she has the potential to be a champion.
And in all those years I have coached baseball we only had a few left handed pitchers, but the best lefty I ever coached was Greg ‘the Bull’ Zarowny. He was terrifying to the batters, most of them I’m sure are still shaking in their boots.
There was a lot of high level instructors at this clinic, in Bonnyville, who have played some very high level of baseball; including, Reggie Rivard who pitched AAA ball and was very close to making it in the majors. He started the clinic a few years ago to give something back to the local young players and it has become a huge success.
This annual event now hosts about 200 players from 5 years old to 18.  It’s a great  way to start the season, learn the proper mechanics of throwing, catching and hitting, all skills that are needed to become a better ball player.
And now for the K. A. Campbell quote of the week. ‘ I had my own teeth and I wanted to keep it that way.’ – Tom Glavine , on why he chose professional baseball over hockey.