May 19th, 2024

Lakers focus on development for the next level


By Lethbridge Herald on May 10, 2024.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Lakers American Legion baseball team will be playing a full slate of games in the league’s ‘B’ schedule this season with a goal in mind of developing players to go to the next level.

“We’re kind of a feeder program,” said Sam Hilgersom, Lakers assistant coach.

“So we’re looking for just young guys, [and] give them a chance to develop at this level so that they can move on and hopefully make an impact on the Miners and Elks teams in the coming years.”

The Lakers is moving solely to American Legion after splitting time with Little League last season to get familiar with the style of play.

“Each program have a different way that they kind of run things,” said Hilgersom.

“It’s a much more competitive style of baseball playing in a set league.”

Hilgersom sees the competitive style as a way to get familiar with opponents and creates a friendly rivalry.

The coaching staff are happy with the how the final roster turned out for the 2024 season.

“There was  a great, great turnout this year for tryouts,” he said.

“Probably the most kids that we’ve seen in quite a few years here. So it’s great to see that baseball’s just continuing to grow in southern Alberta and we’re really excited to have a group of young guys that are ready go out there and have a great summer, compete and ultimately  just really learn from their experiences.”

The Lakers success will start on the mound with good pitching and battling at the plate.

“We’re not going to be the biggest team, not going to be the strongest team but it’s kind of Lethbridge baseball in a nutshell is that you find a way, even if it doesn’t look pretty all the time,” said Hilgersom.

The team will return four players from last season in Teal’c Widmer, Cohen Faasen, Xander Mills and Knox Tame.

“We think that they’ve developed a ton over the winter,” said Hilgersom.

“We’re super excited to have them back and just that they’ve been here. They know what’s expected of them on our team and hopefully we’re looking for them to kind of be leaders on our team and kind of show the new guys the ropes.”

The team opened the season in the Ron Matthews tournament this weekend

The Lakers will play  Vauxhall, Medicine Hat, Cranbrook, a couple tournaments in Montana and a year-end tournament in July.

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