THUNDER BAY – Play Ball! There is no word yet if the Doctors will end up playing the Lawyers at Lakehead University. Lakehead athletics have announced that baseball will be included in the Thunderwolves family in the 2011-12 school year. The team will enjoy club status, competing mainly against competition from the United States. LU Baseball will begin this fall with open try-outs during first week of school in September, with the roster consisting of 20-25 LU students.
The Head Coach will be Jason Hart, who has played collegiate baseball at the University of Houston and spent 6 years at the professional level with the Chicago Cubs and Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks. Coach Hart has spent the last 11 years as the Director of Player Development with the Northwest Slam Baseball Club helping over 30 players realize their dream of playing collegiate baseball.
Assisting Hart will be coach Kevin McCallum, who played for the Knights at Montgomery College and has worked as an athletic therapist in the WHL, AJHL, SJHL and SIJHL.
First on the schedule will be a baseball development camp for players aged 8-18 (see details below).
The Thunderwolves will compete in the NCBA (National Club Baseball Association), Division II, from the district V West Conference. The playoff format includes a regional championship for the conference winner, and a trip to the Division II World Series for the regional champion.
Competing against the Thunderwolves in the District V West Conference will be the University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, University of Northern Illinois, Michigan Tech University and Winona State University. Lakehead will approximately play 30-40 games in the spring against NCBA, NAIA, NCAA and NJCAA teams, including 10-12 home games, which will be played at the newly renovated Baseball Central.
LU has already secured non-conference games with Iowa Wesleyan College, Carleton College, University of Wisconsin@ Superior, Hibbing Junior College and Itasca Junior College. It is also pursuing competition versus the club baseball team at the University of Winnipeg.
The formation of Thunderwolves’ Club Baseball has been thanks to the hard work of the Lakehead Club Baseball Advisory Committee, which has been working with local stakeholders with the Thunder Bay International Baseball Association (TBIBA) and others in the baseball community to form the new club at LU. The Lakehead Baseball Club Advisory Committee includes:
Jason Hart (LU Baseball, TBIBA)
Danny Nucci (Little League/ Lakers)
Mike Fonso (Play It Again Sports)
Steve McInnis (Northwest Slam Baseball)
Dave Bonden (Northwest Slam)
Warren Philp (TBIBA, TBBA)
Terry Olsen (Baseball community)
Kevin McCallum (LU Baseball)
Wayne Smith (Mountain Baseball)
Larry Hebert (TBIBA)
Reg Galbraith (TBIBA, TBBA)
Lincoln Galbraith (TBBA)
LU Baseball’s spring season will run from the end of February until May, when the Regional’s and World Series are played, and there is also a possibility of a spring trip down to Texas to play NAIA and NCAA Division III teams during reading week.
Coach Jason Hart is excited with the opportunity to offer local players a place to play baseball at a competitive college level at Lakehead:
“There’s lots of talent here locally that never had a chance to take their game to the next level without leaving the region, or in most cases, the country.” He adds, “This team will provide that opportunity for local baseball players to play competitively at the college level and stay in their home region of Northwestern Ontario.”
For more information about LU Baseball, contact coach Jason Hart @ email@example.com, or assistant coach Kevin McCallum @ firstname.lastname@example.org
The Thunderwolves will be hosting baseball camps July 20-21 (ages 8-11, 9am-12 noon, ages 12-15, 1-4pm), and July 27-28 (ages 16-18, 1-4pm). The cost for the camps is 80.00 + reg. fees. Location is Baseball Central (blue diamond)
*For more information and to register contact coach Jason Hart: email@example.com, or visit www.thunderwolves.ca and click on ‘Baseball’ under the ‘Club Teams’ heading on the left side to learn more about Thunderwolves baseball camp.*