By Kade Marshall, April 5 2019 —
In addition to its regular varsity team, the University of Calgary now has its very first junior varsity team in baseball. With a roster of 26 first-year students, this junior team will not only open up opportunities for more competition among schools and academies, but will also allow more opportunities for first- and second-year students to become part of a Dinos athletics team.
“We hope to have lots of new people joining in after hearing about us having a junior varsity team now,” said head coach Geoff Freeborn. “It’s not going to happen immediately, but with a few games under our belt, we’re bound to get some attention.”
Both teams have already played their spring start. The junior team played its first game in Okotoks, where they lost against the Okotoks Dawgs 18U Red roster by a score of of 9–2 on March 26. The varsity team lost their opening four-game series to the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack.
Freeborn says the junior varsity team will head out to British Columbia this weekend for games, where the varsity team will travel to Lethbridge for their weekend match.
“We need a win,” said Freeborn. “Lethbridge is a highly respected team, and it would mean a lot for the Dinos if we beat them this weekend.”
Later in the season, the varsity team will also face off against the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades, as well as play a six-game event in Edmonton against that city’s new addition to the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC). The Edmonton team will add some more variety and competition for the Dinos.
The Dinos hope to gather in as many audience members as possible as they host the regular series finale on May 4 and 5 against the Vancouver Island University Mariners.
“It’s a free-entry event and people have known about the spring games for a little while now,” said Freeborn.
The spring season officially ends on May 12, the last day of the CCBC championships which take place in Kamloops.
Both the varsity and junior teams have started practising together at McMahon Stadium, doing infield and outfield practice routines. Other areas across the city allow the Dinos teams to practice batting.
Freeborn says that he’s impressed with the overall turnout of the junior varsity team, with notable new student athletes being Collin Yakiwchuk and Zach Delaquis from Winnipeg, Brendan Makay from Trail, B.C. and Marcus Coderre from Calgary.
Returning veterans stepping up for the spring season include Myles Creran, Ryan Dunn, Chris Cook and Matt Zanutto.
According to Freeborn, the veterans and freshmen are getting along well with one another and the Dinos baseball program looks well positioned for future success.