Riley Poole and Chase Dreger, of Oak Bluff, have played baseball together since they were about age five, and they will again be teammates on Manitoba’s Youth Selects U17 team.
The Selects team is made up of the province’s top ball players. Team Manitoba will compete against teams from other provinces in the Baseball Canada Cup in Saskatoon from Aug. 6 to 11.
According to a news release from Baseball Manitoba, the Baseball Canada Cup is used to select the training roster for the Canadian national junior team, and is extensively scouted by professional and collegiate scouts.
Poole, 17, who plays shortstop and catcher, is excited about having the chance to compete in a national tournament.
"It’s going to be a lot of fun," he said. "It’s the best-of-the-best from each province."
He also knows this is his opportunity to show off his skills and perhaps be scouted by a college or baseball academy.
Poole is entering Grade 12 at Sanford Collegiate in September, and has his sights set on getting a baseball scholarship from a university in the States.
While he and most of the other members of Manitoba’s Selects U17 team have been practising together for months, Dreger and a few others are just joining in. Dreger, 17, is finishing his first year at the Okotoks Dawgs Baseball Academy.
Like Poole, he was on Manitoba’s U15 and U16 teams that competed in smaller tournaments than the Canada Cup.