The Parksville Royals bantam baseball team was in Port Alberni at the end of April to hold a clinic with mosquito and peewee members of the Alberni Valley Junior Baseball Association.
The Royals’ U15 squad has four Port Alberni players on their roster this year—Peyton Lucas, Colton Ivezich, Josh Hillman and Jackson McGiffin—and most of them were at the field for the skills and drills evening. Steve McNamee from Comox and Kelly McGiffin from Port Alberni are coaching the bantams this year.
The kids were learning “the four basic food groups as far as baseball goes,” McNamee said: base running, hitting, fielding and catching fly balls.
The Alberni association had its challenges at the beginning of the season, with so many rainy days in April and early May. Spokesperson Vicky Seredick said the season is going well despite that, and players are happy to be back on the field after a two-year break due to COVID-19.
“We’re using this, as most other communities are, as a rebuilding year,” she said. “We haven’t played ball in almost two years. We had a partial season in 2021.
“Our numbers are on par,” which means down slightly, but not worrisome. There is no midget team this year due to the break, but they’re working on it for next year, she said.
“We’re seeing more of the kids at the grassroots moving up.”
EXTRA INNINGS…The Royals will be back in Port Alberni on Saturday, June 11 as their U15 team will play a regular season doubleheader against Nanaimo Pirates. Games will take place at noon and 2:30 p.m. at Lon Miles Field, 4o00 Compton Rd. (part of the Klitsa Fields complex).