Baseball Team Heads to Florida


This year, from March 20th to the 24th, the Kenyon/Wanamingo baseball team will do something they have never done before! They have been raising money to go to Cocoa Beach, Florida to scrimmage against several teams from the USA and Canada. Fourteen students and 3 coaches are heading south to sharpen their skills for the upcoming season. This promises to be a lot of fun as well.

About a year ago, Head Coach Kirby VanDeWalker and a group of parents began exploring the idea of going to a warmer climate to experience scrimmaging other teams before the season opener. Some schools do this every two years. They spoke with teams from JWP, Hayfield and Stewartville about their experiences, and found a company called Cocoa Beach Space Coast that services trips like this for the kids. The company lines up the hotels, fields, umpires, and sets the schedule for the scrimmages to play.

Next on the to do list was to raise the money to support the students who chose to go, so they have spent the past year doing just that. Last summer, they sponsored a Youth Camp for the older players to teach younger kids how to hit and catch a ball, and the rules of the game. They hosted a 15u end of season tournament where the players would umpire, prep the fields and run concessions. They spent a few nights this winter running the concessions for winter events at the high school. Now they are ready to go and have the experience of a lifetime. Some of the kids will be driving with their parents, others will be flying down with the coaches. Kirby as head coach, and Scott Van Epps and Dylan Craig as assistant coaches, will be running practices and managing scrimmages while in Florida. They want to say a big thank you to Tonya Craig for all help in organizing the fundraisers.

The team will practice at 8 am every morning, and scrimmage against 2 teams in the afternoon/evening. The teams they will scrimmage are 3 High School teams from De Mortange High School from Quebec, Island Trees High School from New York, and Ransom Everglades High School from Miami, Florida. They will be working on sharpening their skills of pitching and hitting, and I am sure will have a little time to enjoy the warm weather as well!

The regular season starts with practice on March 11th and the opener game is on April 4th. These games are free to attend and open to the public, so come out and support our teams this year, and grab some concessions to munch on while you watch them play, and cheer loudly! Take me out to the ball game....... Hope to see you there!