While the Southeast Twins AAA Baseball Team typically plays their games in Estevan, their offseason training has been happening out in Glen Ewen's gymnasium along with some other younger players. With provincial restrictions keeping groups down to just eight kids per practice, the demand for sports and the proper practices has gone up considerably, and Twins Head Coach Trent Dorrance has been happy to provide.
"We have two sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and then we have just added a third session on Sunday, so we're getting more demand, especially as the hockey protocols have changed. So we're getting more demand all the time."
The gym in Glen Ewen has proved to be the perfect fit for them. With players traveling as far as Redvers, Estevan, and almost everywhere in between for the camps of just eight kids per practice, the gym has provided them with enough space to cover everything they need to while still staying socially distanced.
"We have a batting cage set up in one part of the gym and we have a throwing program. We also do a fielding and conditioning program as well, so we give everybody a good taste every session of all three aspects of baseball."
Along with Dorrance, he has been running the camps with bantam Twins Head Coach Blair Beck and Dorrance's own son Tyran, who is taking the year off from college baseball to rehab an injury. With varying age groups from as young as nine years old to about to finish midget ball, the experience of both great coaches and a college baseball player have given the kids in the gym a unique training opportunity.
"Actually, he learned from one of the best college hitting coaches in the States and he's a great asset, and the fact that he has some new drills, some new techniques, and just that he's a younger guy that the kids really relate to so he can tell stories. He went to Martin Academy in Regina, so there are some older kids that are leaning towards going to Martin next year to enhance their skills and you can also answer any questions with the college experience and taking their game to the next level after their minor ball carriers over."
Overall, whether they are actually getting a chance to learn or not, Dorrance says that the kids are just happy to be out playing the game they love again, and they're bringing that positive attitude towards the new season when it arrives.
"Looking at the hockey year, how it's wrapping up, we're very fortunate to have the season that we did last summer with relatively minor restrictions and I hope going forward into the spring that things have calmed down. Being outdoor sports, we can actually play a normal game of baseball with relatively few rules."