What Does Select & Rep Ball Mean & Who Will Coach?, News (St. George Minor Ball)

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What Does Select & Rep Ball Mean & Who Will Coach?
Submitted By Wendy Johnstone on Friday, August 23, 2019
Let me start by giving you a brief history on how this has evolved in our organization.

About 4 years ago we had an exceptionally large group of Atom boys – some of whom were pretty keen on playing ball. They were divided as they always had been into 2 house league teams to play in FMSA for the season. In addition to that, Reid, a non-parent coach took the most enthusiastic of these players and created a Select team. He played them in a number of tournaments and entered them into ORs. At that time, we had a few girls’ teams that entered ORs each year but it was less prevalent among the boys. There were no expectations as to how well this team would do – but in the end with a little extra focus and practice than our standard house league program, these boys were ORSA Finalists. Things exploded from there – we saw enthusiasm from players & coaches at all levels and I would say we have been “tweaking” or figuring out the best way to run a Select program since then.

First, we moved our Select teams to different leagues where we thought they would experience stronger competition – the reality is, for the most part we have dominated in those leagues. I am not exaggerating – we have dominated. The first season we put Atom & Squirt boys’ teams in South Oxford they both won the A division championships handily. The same is true for our girls who we moved to Erie – where they dominated and still do. Our current Bantam Girls Select team is playing at the Midget Junior level and still winning every game. Our Atom Boys played an undefeated season. Does this mean we think it’s easy for our teams or they are not working hard – absolutely not. Does it mean we don’t think those wins are amazing and should be celebrated – absolutely not. Our teams are winning because they work hard – because they don’t give up if a game doesn’t start well, because they are being well coached so they are learning and improving continuously. When a game starts rough, they battle hard, and they come back. But in the end our Select teams are winning every game and the majority of the time they are beating the other centers by double digits. This is partly because we are still playing our “Select” teams in House Leagues. Both Erie & South Oxford are strong, competitive leagues – but they are still House Leagues. It is a ton of fun to have an undefeated season - but…one of the key mandates of our program is development. The reality is, as hard as everyone is working to win, when you are winning by double digits you are missing an opportunity for development you would get if you played teams who pushed you a little harder. The best victories are the ones that come in the last inning of a hard fought game – not the ones that are pretty much determined by the end of the third inning. There is learning to come from losing sometimes. It is the opportunity to get back up and dust ourselves off that gives our kids life skills they will carry with them through adulthood. We have phenomenal ball players in St. George. They have proven time and time again they will rise to the next challenge and the next level. These kids are ready for more.

Let’s move on to Girls PWSA (Rep) Ball. This was not in the plans for the Executive. Then this past season after our Atom Girls Select team was finalized we were approached by their head coach Paul who said he wanted them to play PW. We as an executive had a number of concerns with this – it would cost a lot of money, there would be extra training for coaches, we didn’t really know how to play a team in this league, and we didn’t know if the girls, coaches and parents realized how tough the competition would be.   The coaches had well-reasoned answers to all our questions and so with our blessing went ahead and entered the Grand Valley Ladies Softball League – and they have been immensely successful. Right off the hop they were having success. They played a fantastic season, and more importantly we’ve been told by a number of parents that the girls and families loved it. This of course raised questions from girls and families at other levels – why do the Atoms get a PW team but we were never given that chance? As an executive, we agree – so now we have finalized the following framework for the 2020 season:

 

House League – Will play FMSA, South Oxford & Erie depending on registration numbers at each level in all centers

Boys Select – Will play North Waterloo League - to get an idea of what the schedule for this league look like, have a look at the Squirt Boys Select team for the 2019 season on our website. You will see the number and locations of the games they played as well as the extra tournaments and number of practices. The website for North Waterloo is http://www.northwaterloofastpitch.com/

Girls Rep PWSA – Will play Grand Valley Ladies Softball League - to get an idea of what the schedules for this league look like, have a look at the Atom Girls Select team for the 2019 season on our website. You will see the number and locations of the games they played as well as the extra tournaments and number of practices. The website for Grand Valley is https://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=gvlsa, and the website for PWSA is https://www.pwsaontario.com/

Coaching offers have been made at all levels, but we are still waiting for confirmation at some levels in part because people are away on vacation. We are thrilled to announce the following head coaches:

Atom Boys Select – Tim Lee

Squirt Girls PW – Paul Taylor

Squirt Boys Select – John Johnstone

PeeWee Boys Select – Reid Morrison

Bantam Girls PW – To be announced

Midget Girls PW – To be announced

 

The tryout schedule will be finalized shortly.

 

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