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Lacombe Dodgers 11U AA team and the 13U AA team both landed provincial gold

It’s been a hugely successful season for the Lacombe Minor Baseball Association, with the Dodgers 11U AA team hosting provincials recently and taking the top spot.
The Dodgers 11U AA team hosted provincials recently and took the top spot. Photo submitted Photo submitted

It’s been a hugely successful season for the Lacombe Minor Baseball Association, with the Dodgers 11U AA team hosting provincials recently and taking the top spot.

And the great news doesn’t end there — the 13U AA Dodgers also played provincials in Chestermere recently and won gold over the July 28-30 weekend.

It certainly speaks to team and community spirit, and a swift regrouping for the teams after the pandemic slow-down. she said.

“It’s such a great team effort,” said Shannon Bruns, the Association’s president. “The Association as. a whole has had a great recovery story — of course, with COVID, we missed a couple of seasons.”

Bruns took over as Association president last year but has been active in the organization for several years.

She also credits Darcy Warawa — head coach of the 13U team — for his overall influence on the Association.

“He’s a huge factor in what Lacombe Minor Baseball has become,” she said.

“He also has an amazing coach resume,” she added, pointing out that Warawa was integral to the founding of the rookie program that has since been adopted by Baseball Alberta.

“It basically modified the 9U program to make it more developmental and fun for kids, and a more effective program.

“So what we are seeing now is that the kids that were on these two teams that had a lot of success this year, and also our 15U team which had a lot of success — they are the players that started in that rookie format.

“Now, we are seeing how that is progressing through the years,” she explained.

“Darcy’s influence from a grassroots level up has been huge for Lacombe Minor Baseball. And Baseball Alberta, actually - he was just the Zone 4 Summer Games head coach as well.”

Bruns said that overall, baseball in Lacombe has record numbers this season - they saw an increase in their AA program, with all of the AA teams making it to the semi-finals, and of course, the 11U (head coached by Colin Tee) and the 13U AA teams winning gold in their tiers, she said.

“Our 11Us also hosted the 11U AA provincials and they actually won it, too,” she added. “That was a pretty significant event for them.

“Lacombe also had a provincial team at the single A level, and one of our teams won silver in their provincial championships as well. So of the five teams that went to provincials, we had three of them bring home medals!

“We’ve got big aspirations for the future,” she said, adding that the Association is introducing ‘Fall Ball’ back into its programming.

“It all comes down to the fact that Lacombe Minor Baseball is made up of the most incredible people - everybody goes above and beyond and is invested in the development of the players, making the game fun, and it’s just a really incredible group of people to be a part of,” she explained.

“I’m really excited for what Lacombe baseball looks like for the future years.

“We actually have some of the nicest diamonds in central Alberta, so we are always excited to show off what Lacombe has,” she said.

“We like to host and bring other teams in to not only show them the great ballpark we have but also to just show them what a great community we have, too. It’s a pretty common consensus when the teams do come here, that Lacombe is just a fantastic place to be,” she added.

Bruns, as mentioned, has been involved in the local minor baseball scene for several years, also having two sons involved as well.

Besides occasional coaching stints over the years, she also utilizes her personal training experience in working with the players as well.

“Sports in general really helps with learning to work through challenges and with building confidence.”

To keep up with the Lacombe Minor Baseball Association, find them on Facebook.

Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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