For the love of the game – Canada style | The Gauntlet

We talk about Northern teams in baseball. But then there are NORTHERN teams. As in Canada north.

He’s a great story from the student news publication at the University of Calgary that gives a bit of the taste of what it takes to field a team in the Great White North.

As the semester wraps up, so too do most Dinos athletics seasons. However, some campus sports, such as the men’s baseball squad, are only just beginning their seasons.

The Dinos baseball team started in the early 2000s as a men’s league open to the public. While attending Mount Royal University in 2006, current head coach Geoff Freeborn played on the team before joining the Vipers — a Calgary professional league that disbanded in 2011. Freeborn has coached for the Dinos on and off over the years and was promoted to head coach three weeks ago.

“The program has never quite been what it could be. We’ve been last in the conference for in the past 10 years but we’re working on that,” Freeborn said. “I want to be apart of the change of the program.”

The baseball team is a club sport but the Dinos athletic department runs their administration and funds travel expenses. But unlike a varsity sport, players must pay to compete. It also operates outside of the Canada West conference — the team is currently part of the Canada College Baseball Conference (CCBC), which is comprised of the Dinos and five other Western Canada varsity teams.

Freeborn says part of the Dinos struggle to excel is due to Calgary’s erratic weather patterns but he sees this as a source of motivation for the team.

“The baseball team hasn’t had great success in its time. We’re often stuck indoors and are a little bit behind some other schools,” Freeborn said. “You can only work on so many things [indoors] and hop in the cage so many times. But it also builds a strong work ethic. It forces [the players] to work a little harder — and they do.”

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