A new year with some big changes is on the mound for Estevan Minor Baseball, as they wrap up one of their most successful years yet.
"2018 was really good. Our numbers went up again, which is always a really good thing. It's exciting to see more and more players getting involved," said High Performance Director Blaine Kovach. The jump in participation can be partially credited to EMB's new DQ Rally Cap program.
"(It) went really, really well. It's a new format of how to do things at the very beginning stages of baseball, and it seems to be taken in stride. The kids seem to love it, the coaches and the fans seem to love it, and I've heard nothing about good things so far. That's very positive to see, and that's how we're going to catch these younger kids to stay playing baseball, to want to develop and grow and stick with the game."
"Great things coming for 2019, especially with that program. We're excited for the new year."
The organization and it's associated teams will also have a new look. It was decided during their annual general meeting in October that they would be adopting one overall name and some new colors.
"We're switching from everyone having random, different names to having one, generalized name for our triple A teams, at least, for this year. We're going to be named the Estevan Minor Baseball Brewers, so we'll see new jerseys...so that's pretty exciting for 2019," shared Kovach, adding that they hope to see more and more teams participate in provincials, as they did in 2018.
Individual players and coaches also went far during the season, some making it to interprovincial competitions, and some to the national level.
"It's really cool to see that. It's a big deal, and not only good for the program but for the younger kids to see that. Anytime you see a player advancing themselves and getting to that type of stage, it's nothing but good things and it makes them strive to reach that point themselves."
Meanwhile, Kovach himself has stepped down from his role as Head Coach of the AAA Twins to assume a more encompassing role with EMB and Baseball Sask.