It’s that time of the year the St. Joseph High School Baseball Academy Falcons have returned to help youth develop their skills on the field.
This past weekend the academy finished undefeated in the first ever RHP Academy EC Hawks College Fall Showcase in Edmonton.
The tournament took place from Sept. 15-18 and after making it to the finals the Falcons beat the Edmonton Collegiate Baseball Hawks 5-3 to take home the victory.
“It was awesome. We just didn’t make a lot of mistakes. We didn’t overpower anybody or do anything but defensively we were outstanding. The guys battled and our pitchers competed around the zone and threw a lot of strikes,” said lead instructor Jason Chatwood. “Offensively our hitters just continually put the ball in play and played hard and they got rewarded for that. It was nice to see and it was fun to watch them play this weekend.
“We got the invite so we thought it was going to be a really good opportunity for us and a good experience for the kids. It was a great tournament they did an awesome job running it.”
After finishing the round robin portion of the tournament 4-0 beating Edmonton Collegiate 11-4, Absolute Human Performance Baseball Academy (St. Albert) 9-6, Regina Red Sox 9-2, and Vauxhall Academy 10-3, Red Deer earned a spot in the finals.
“Some really good teams. Lots of good baseball and got to see some people from all over so it was really good,” he said. “This weekend for us it was awesome to go and compete against that competition and have success.”
The academy is made up of students Grade 7-12 who want to develop their baseball and softball skills while getting an education. Chatwood said they try to get games done early in the fall so that when the winter months come they can work on their fundamentals and advanced skills.
“The big goal and focus is just to kind of help them develop and improve their skills over the course of the year and then they would go on to play for their summer teams. That’s what our main focus is,” he explained.
The number of players within the program is quite big and have been able to move many players to play at the next level after graduating high school to play in college or university.
“We’re getting a lot of kids feeding into our high school program that attend our junior high program as well as St. Thomas. It’s been awesome to see a lot of our Grade 10, 11, and 12s we’ve seen those kids now for multiple years even since some of them were in Grade 7 or 8 when they were in our feeder program. To see the growth that some of these boys and girls have shown the past four or five years has been awesome to see,” he said.