© Dave Mathieson - Amherst News
The Springhill XTR Rookies and the Springhill Gamez-On Paintball Rookies played against each other last week in Springhill. The players from both teams are: (front, from left) Dawson Varner, Kayley MacDonald, Avery Smith, Carter Sharpe, Aidan McBurnie, (centre, from left) Kaylen Burke, Rylan Lowther, Parker McLeod, Liam Brown, Stetson Sullivan, Cohen Joudrey, Mattix McBurnie, (back, from left) coach’s Jen MacDonald, Randy Smith and Paul Sharpe.
SPRINGHILL – Rookie baseball is often the first time a baseball player ever faces a pitch.
“Some are more advanced than other but many are coming out of t-ball, so some of them you have to teach how to stand and how to throw and how to pitch,” said Springhill’s Paul Sharpe, who finished his first year coaching the seven to nine-year-old rookie program.
Sharpe had coached the Bantam Fencebusters program for several years and said he found coaching rookies quite different.
“It’s interesting,” he said. “It was a different experience because you have to teach them the basics from the ground up, whereas the bantam players are already skilled.”
His rookie team played against Wallace several times over the season and played one tournament in Halifax as well.
“It was the first time any of these kids had been in a tournament and we lost in the semi-finals by one run,” said Sharpe. “So we did really well against teams that played all year in a league. It shows how great the talent is in this town.”
It was also the first year Sharpe coached his son Carter.
“I might be a little harder on him than most kids but it shows. He’s a good ball player.”
Asked what his baseball dreams are for Carter, Sharpe said he’d like to see him play for the Yankees.
“Just joking,” he added. “I just want him to enjoy the game and learn about teamwork.”
Sharpe said it was fun coaching the rookies and hopes to see most of them back again next year.
“I think only one player has to move up, so I’ll have the same group of kids,” said Sharpe. “I thank the kids and parents for coming out and having a good year and, hopefully, they’ll do the same next year.”
He also thanked everybody who helped with renovations to the baseball complex in Springhill.
“The fields look great,” he said.
Awards presented to XTR and Gamez-On Rookies were as follows:
MVP – Aidan McBurnie
Most Sportsmanlike – Cohen Joudrey
Most Improved – Mattix McBurnie
MVP – Carter Sharpe
Most Sportsmanlike – Nevaeh Aubichon
Most Improved – Avery Smith