A new avenue for southern Alberta baseball players is stepping up to the plate.
The Prairie Baseball Academy is branching out, announcing the new Lethbridge High School Baseball Academy will start fall 2021.
Chance Wheatley will be the academy’s head coach and he says it will be a boost for young baseball players in Lethbridge and the surrounding area.
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“There’s some really good academies already in southern Alberta — in Vauxhall and even Okotoks — but for more the local kids, at least to start off with, this is huge,” Wheatley said. “They don’t have to leave town.”
Players from Grades 9 to 12 will take the field at both Lloyd Nolan Yard and Spitz Stadium as part of the academy, working on their skills over the school year.
“Players will attend their normal high school then after school we’ll be practicing.”
Wheatley says offering training for high school ballplayers in the area fills a hole in the city’s baseball programs.
“We’ve done a good job with the junior academy with the younger guys and I think there’s kind of a gap from that younger age to the college.”
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Providing an environment for those teenage ballplayers to succeed is being emphasized.
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Wheatley says that age group is a at a key point in their development and any extra work can help them move up to the next level.
“Guys need to mature physically and I think with our program, starting in high school and the gym, (while) further developing their skills as well, it’s a great way to fill that gap.”
Players will be recruited for the academy, but anyone interested in joining is encouraged to reach out once the process begins later this summer.
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