We're still a ways away from senior baseball starting up in west central Saskatchewan, but fans can start looking forward to spending their time at local ball parks over the coming months a few weeks from now.
The 2019 Fertile Valley Baseball League season is set to begin next month as teams begin preparing for the campaign ahead. Last year was arguably one of the most entertaining seasons in the league's existence with teams playing close, competitive games right until the finals. In the best-of-three championship series, it was the Kindersley Raiders who were able to repeat as league champs following a 7-5 victory in Game 3 over their rivals the Kindersley Stallions.
That series may now seem like a distant memory for some of the players and coaches as the snow melts away to make way for the boys of summer.
FVBL teams are set have a league meeting sometime over the next couple weeks to discuss items for the season ahead. Topics that will come up in discussion will include schedules and rosters among others; but fans can also expect some new elements to be added to the mix this spring and summer.
When speaking to league president Ryan Wickett about the upcoming season, he couldn't wait to get things going with his hometown Rosetown Angels, the team he plays for and manages. He comments on last season's success and how he hopes it will keep growing in the region.
Sounds like teams will be hitting the fields in mid-May around the third week of May is what Wickett is prediciting. He said things have started as early as the second week, but players with jobs in the agriculture industry may need a little more time to be ready to play ball.
In the meantime, players and fans can begin speculating on what will be different this time around. He mentioned there's a lot to look forward to in 2019, especially with those changes on the way. He gives us the details.
It's good news for a local ball league that saw growth last year too; the FVBL expanded from 9 to 12 teams for 2018 with the Kindersley Cubs, Outlook River Hawks and Oyen Eagles joining the competition.
Wickett added he's not sure what the teams are named, who will make up their rosters or who they could be splitting from. Those questions will be answered once the league has a chance to gather with representatives from each club during their meeting.
While they hope to spread the sport farther and to more people in the area, the league also hopes to find youth who may be interested in another side of the game – officiating. Now that the league is expanding to more teams, it translates into needing more umpires to help oversee games. The FVBL's president has more to say on that.
More details will be released in the following weeks ahead of Opening Day for the 2019 schedule.