June 18th, 2024

Longhorns baseball filling void at local high school level

By Lethbridge Herald on March 31, 2022.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Longhorns baseball team was launched as a part of the Lethbridge High School Baseball Academy in 2021 and now are two weeks into their first spring season.

The team is comprised of high school players from Lethbridge and area.

“So really the goal of the academy is to give local Lethbridge players a chance to play year-round and hopefully achieve their dreams of becoming college baseball players,” said Chance Wheatley, Longhorns head coach.

Wheatley felt there was a void left in the city’s baseball scene without this level.

“I think we’ve done a real good job of the younger groups growing up.  And there’s kind of just a bit of a void for year-round baseball players to be able to stay in Lethbridge and not leave town to try and get the type of experience for them with the year-round to try and get them off to college.”

The team has a younger look to it in the first year.

“We’re a majority (of) Grade 10 players,” said Wheatley.

“So, we’re really young. We’ve got some young talented guys. Just from the fall to the spring here, we’re seeing huge improvements with a lot of guys and overall as a team. So, yeah, it’s exciting.”

Wheatley says they’ve faced some stiff competition so far and have held their own.

“As I mentioned, we’re a majority Grade 10 and we’re playing some older teams that have a lot of talent on them and we’re competing with them and it’s exciting to see,” he said.

When Wheatley signed on as head coach this year, he knew there was a lot of unknowns and he wanted to instill hard work into the players and teach them how to compete.

“It’s really coming on both of those aspects,” he said.

The club is playing all exhibition and tournament games until the end of April.

Players will then either go on to American Legion or Alberta Baseball programs in May.

The Prairie Baseball Academy and the Lethbridge Bulls were the driving forces behind starting the Longhorns.

The team initially started play last fall and played throughout the winter.

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