By Lethbridge Herald on July 21, 2015.
For the sixth consecutive year, Lethbridge will host the Junior Little League Canadian Championship.
An impressive streak for the home club, no question.
The junior-level tournament, which will run from Aug. 4 to Aug. 14 at Spitz Stadium, has found a mainstay here.
This yearâ€™s version will have seven teams: Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the host Lethbridge Giants. Outside of the home club, the 13- to 15-year-olds will stay at residences at Lethbridge College, which also has a rec hall and meal services.
â€œItâ€™s good to have the boys play in front of their people,â€ said Brenda Clear, co-chairman for the Junior Little League Canadian Championship, during a media event at the stadium Monday afternoon.
â€œAnd the kids from down east love this diamond. Itâ€™s something they arenâ€™t used to playing in. Itâ€™s a great time for the kids.â€
Shayne MacInnis, first-year head coach for the Lethbridge Giants, said his team has shown great improvement in preparation for the event. They also got to practice, on Monday, on the Spitz Stadium field for the first time this year.
â€œSince April, weâ€™ve been kind of working with them and itâ€™s like night and day right now,â€ he said.
â€œTheyâ€™ve come a long way. Iâ€™m expecting that theyâ€™re going to come out and compete every game. Thereâ€™s going to be a lot of good competition out there. Iâ€™m excited because you get your home crowd.â€
The tournament will begin with a skills competition and welcome dinner on Aug. 4. The opening game, determined by a random team draw also on Monday, will see the hosts play against Team Alberta on Aug. 5.
The exact schedule has yet to be finalized, though, and will be worked around the Lethbridge Bullsâ€™ playoff games.
The final will be on Aug. 13, while the tournament winner will represent Canada at the Junior Little League World Series in Taylor, Mich., later in the month.