OTTAWA (Nov.14.2018) –
Three months after the end of a successful season, the Junior Ravens baseball pilot project is set to be replaced by something even more ambitious.
The rep Mosquito team was a test to see whether youth baseball at the younger age groups, in this case 10 and 11 year olds, could benefit from collegiate coaching instruction.
“The project was successful enough to continue” said Carleton baseball President George Rigakos “but the interests of the university team and youth baseball development in Ottawa is better served if the Ravens are open to all young ball players. We want to focus on our camps.”
While there are a few young players that will miss wearing the Ravens colours on the diamond next Spring there are more options emerging for them.
Indeed, an expanded Jr. Ravens Winter prep camp in 2019 is coming to campus this January. Clinics will be run out of the Field House Saturday mornings and players 7-13 will be able to train in specialized pitching, hitting, catching and fielding clinics over an 11-week period.
Moreover, folding the Jr. Ravens youth team doesn’t mean that the university is retreating from their partnerships with youth baseball organizations. “We have established relationships with organizations like South Ottawa Little League which we expect to continue” adds Rigakos. “It’s part of our mandate and we are looking to create more opportunities.”
Last month, Rigakos signed an agreement with Joe Ierullo, President of St. Anthony in Ottawa’s Little Italy, to build a competitive baseball academy led by Ravens head coach Andre Robidoux. Robidoux will be joined by former pro ball players Daniel Cordero and Matti Emery in a formidable triumvirate of baseball knowledge.
“These kids will be exposed to top level instruction at a very early stage in their development” said coach Robidoux. “I think there is a real need to get them started off right” he added. “Development continues at all levels. You never stop learning. But so much more can be accomplished when you do things correctly at the beginning.”
The Academy will use trained parent-coaches for game-to-game management but player development will be the responsibility of Robidoux and his team. The organization will be non-profit and volunteer-driven, another reason why Rigakos was drawn to St. Anthony’s.
“The model we are adopting” says Rigakos “is very similar to what they have established. Paid technical experts, reasonable fees, bursaries for kids in need that can play ball but can’t afford it. This is an organization that has been around since 1952 and it has an excellent legacy.”
More information about St. Anthony Academy, including upcoming try-out dates can be found at their website here: https://st-anthony-baseball.com
The Jr. Ravens Winter Prep clinics are now open for registration here: https://www.curavensbaseball.com/winter-camps-2019