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‘An urgent call’: Wildcats ‘likely’ to miss baseball season unless new coach hired

Tyler Fancy of Kentville goes for a pitch during 2018 Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League action in Truro. The Wildcats are looking for a new head coach and president Sandy VanBlarcom says the team will likely have to bow out of the upcoming season if they cannot find one.
Tyler Fancy of Kentville goes for a pitch during 2018 Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League action in Truro. The Wildcats are looking for a new head coach and president Sandy VanBlarcom says the team will likely have to bow out of the upcoming season if they cannot find one. - SaltWire Network

KENTVILLE, N.S. -- The Kentville Senior Wildcats are urgently looking for a coach for this upcoming season because there may be no season at all for them without one.

The team’s executive committee president Sandy VanBlarcom says he and the committee met last week and looked over polls they conducted with players after last year’s season started with head coach Chris Salsman, but ended with players stepping up as coaches after Salsman left the team mid-season.

The players, many of whom are slated to return to play this year, were asked whether they could continue rotating coaching duties, and nearly 100 per cent responded that it would not work.

“Our coach left to pursue a job opportunity, and our players agreed to step up and handle the coaching. I think obviously it taxes those players and it’s very hard to do, and we understand that we’ve got to find a full-time coach this year,” says VanBlarcom.

“Without a coach, the players find it hard to commit to playing. So that means that we could feasibly miss this season unless one comes along.”

Club president Sandy VanBlarcom says the team has a lot of returning players who are asking which direction the club is heading in, and who
Club president Sandy VanBlarcom says the team has a lot of returning players who are asking which direction the club is heading in, and who

This is why VanBlarcom says the team is in desperate need of a coach before Feb. 20 – the last possible date for them to be able to start organizing for the season.

He says the job will require someone with a good working knowledge of baseball and the team’s current players as well as the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League (NSSBL).

“These are all a must. If you step in from Alberta, and you don’t know the personality of the town, or even the opposing town, the players quickly recognize that’s a problem,” he says.

VanBlarcom says the coach should also be ready to rise to the level of the “very competitive league” since Kentville has always enjoyed a reasonable amount of success on the field.

“You need that competitive talent on the field to build interest, and we’ve got it. Normally finding a coach is hard because of finances, but we’re in a better position this year than we were,” says VanBlarcom.

“The issue now is that we need a viable coach set up so our players can play.”

If a coach is not found, this will not be the first season the team has missed. VanBlarcom says the organization has missed “a few seasons” since its inception in 1977.

The executive can be reached via email at wildcatsSRbaseball@mail.com or by phone at 902-678-1233. The team’s Facebook page is also monitored daily.

Sara.Ericsson@kingscountynews.ca.

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