Shortstop/ pitcher Cooper Jones of the Red Deer Midget AAA Braves was named to the Team Alberta roster for the upcoming Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg from July 29- Aug. 4. He will be coached by Dwayne Lalor and joined by Branden Woods of Red Deer who plays for the Okotoks Dawgs Academy. (Photo by Byron Hackett/Advocate Staff)

Dwayne Lalor ready to lead Team Alberta baseball at Canada Summer Games

Cooper Jones and Branden Woods will also represent Central Alberta in baseball at games

Simply put, Dwayne Lalor is thrilled for another chance to coach on the national stage.

The teacher at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School will be the baseball coach for Team Alberta from July 29 to Aug. 4 for the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.

“It’ll be exciting. Getting here quicker than we think,” Lalor said with a chuckle and a quick check of his watch for the countdown to the tournament.

The veteran coach has been in the dugout for national tournaments before, but not with the age group he’ll coach this time around. Usually it is the junior age group, but this time he’ll manage a younger team and that comes with a unique set of challenges.

“It’ll be a pretty good tournament. You get everybody’s best 16-17 year olds. I think we’ll be competitive but I don’t know for sure,” he said. “We like our team. They work hard and it’ll be do we play well that week of competition. When the bright lights come on, how do we react? If we can maintain our composure and play like we’ve shown here in Alberta then we’ll compete fine.”

Lalor currently coaches the Red Deer Midget AAA Braves and will be joined at the games by one of his own players, shortstop/ pitcher Cooper Jones of Ponoka.

“He’s a strong player, he’s gotten better every year. He’s grown, he’s about six-foot-two now. His arm strength and everything has improved. He’s a good, solid player. Nice to see what he does,” Lalor said.

Branden Woods of Red Deer, who plays Midget AAA for the Okotoks Dawgs Academy, also cracked the Team Alberta squad.

Filling out the roster has been two years in the making. It started with identification camps last year followed by 40 players invited to a camp in September. After another identification camp this year, the final tryout included a seven-game showcase in Yakima, Washington where Lalor said he was really able to see who will shine in Winnipeg.

He said the ability under pressure and endurance the players showed during that time was a good indication of what they’ll do in at the summer games.

“Took them out of their comfort zone. This is the environment you’ll be in at the games, let’s see how we do. We played unknown teams. Some guys really shined and other guys it was a struggle,” Lalor said. “You have to be able to play at your top level everyday or we get beat. We don’t just lose, we get beat.”

Not only will the baseball experience be one they won’t soon forget, Lalor noted that even being around other talented athletes from different disciplines will give great perspective for the baseball group.

“Coaching at the Canada Games is always fun. You’re at a big multi-sport games with a variety of different sports and the baseball players get to see what other teams do and other athletes around the province and the country do to train and be prepared,” Lalor said.

“We could be rooming beside a decathlete and kayaker. The guys get an eye opener – ‘maybe I could train a little harder or be a little more disciplined and improve my game.”

The tournament will also serve as a showcase for players looking to make the Canadian Junior National Team next year.

Team Alberta will play Team B.C. in their first game on July 29.

Just Posted

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline in close vote

CALGARY — Nebraska’s Public Service Commission has approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route… Continue reading

Canadians told to brace for a ‘classic’ Canadian winter with lots of snow

TORONTO — One of Canada’s high profile weather forecasters is warning Canadians… Continue reading

Nebraska set to vote today on fate of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

CALGARY — Five commissioners in Nebraska are set to vote today on… Continue reading

Hippie cult leader Charles Manson dead at 83

LOS ANGELES — Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the… Continue reading

Tie new affordable housing money to outcomes, former watchdog tells Liberals

OTTAWA — Parliament’s first budget watchdog is warning the federal government to… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month