It’s going to be an exciting season for the North End AAA baseball teams.
With three teams in competition — Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget — the club is expected to have a strong presence this year. David Nychyk, director of the North Winnipeg AAA baseball league and coach of the Pee Wee team, says all three teams have a good shot of winning the provincial championships this August long weekend.
Nychyk says that the teams have spent all year working on their skills and the players are performing at the top level of baseball in the province. With tryouts already held, the teams are excited to start their seasons. Nychyk mentions that there are three or four players within the North Winnipeg league who will go to the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que., this August.
Adding to expectations of a strong year in North Winnipeg baseball, Vince Leah Community Centre will finally be able to unveil its brand-new baseball diamond, which was built over the course of the past two summers.
"There are only two diamonds in North Winnipeg and having this diamond resurrected is a bonus to the community", says Kevin Boyd, Vince Leah Community Centre president and convenor.
Vince Leah had not had an active baseball team for approximately 15 to 20 years because the diamond had been unplayable. The City of Winnipeg approached the community centre with a three-phase proposal to upgrade the centre’s facility. Phase one was the resurrection of the baseball diamond, which included improved drainage to the field.
The revitalization of the diamond at Vince Leah means the club may be able to bring back the North Winnipeg Pirates teams, which moved to Selkirk when the diamond became unplayable.
"We’re hoping the Pirates will be our first tenants", Boyd confirms.
Vince Leah still faces a few challenges, such as a need for expanded space for maintenance and equipment storage, but Boyd is hopeful that these needs will be acknowledged when the second and third phases of the revitalization project are completed.
Alisa Pihulak is a community correspondent for Riverbend.