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The peewee boys of summer

Jul 08, 2014 11:30 am | By Ryan McCracken | St. Paul Journal

The end of June marked the end of the Lakeland baseball season, and after coaching ball for the first time in my life with the local peewees, I can say Iím already excited to get back out on the diamond next year.

Iíve coached a number of sports in St. Paul, including soccer, football and baseball, but I think itís safe to say I enjoy being out on the diamond the most.

Coaching can be frustrating at times, but ultimately the rewards are worth all the effort you put into the role. Sure, sometimes I found myself rushing out of the office to make a long drive to Elizabeth Settlement, or scrambling to notify players and coaches of a rainout, but it always felt worthwhile.

Getting to be out there on the diamond with the St. Paul peewee Storm has been one of my favourite and most memorable experiences in St. Paul. Every player on the roster came to the diamond with a level of enthusiasm and respect that most coaches only dream about, and over the course of the season, they truly became a team.

There were some hiccups along the way, both in the form of tough losses and frustratingly long periods of rainfall, but when we entered the year end tournament sitting in fifth place, we were confident we would close out the season in the top three. And we did just that, defeating Lac La Biche and Cold Lake to finish second in the Lakeland.

It seemed everything my fellow coaches and I had attempted to instill within our players seemed to stick going into that final tournament. The boys brought their best to the diamond at the perfect time, and it paid off with some incredibly exciting baseball and a set of ear-to-ear smiles at the end of the day.

I saw some amazing things out of these young players, from development on the mound to unyielding efforts to secure an out at the plate. It was truly rewarding to see these players pick up not only on the skills and fundamentals of the game, but the mentality that makes for a respectable athlete.

While we fell in the final to a very strong team in the Elk Point Sox, every player left the field with their head held high, for we had all accomplished something that afternoon, and we did it as a team.

I am so proud of this group, the efforts they put in, and the victories we achieved throughout the course of the season. Thanks to all my players, their parents, and my assistant coaches for making the 2014 minor ball season one that I will never forget. Go Storm!

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