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Richmond Little League’s eventful season ends

By Matthew Cheung

Published 3:55 PDT, Fri July 29, 2022

Richmond Little League players recently participated in the 2022 District 6 Majors All-Stars tournament against other local teams.

The tournament took place at the Joan & Phil Lake Diamond in Vancouver. Richmond Little League is a partner of Richmond City Baseball.

The Richmond team struggled at the tournament and ended without a win. Despite the results, coach Serj Sangara was glad to return to the field.

“It was totally exciting to get back out there and experience the real competition, and take in all that goes with those taking the road to the Little League World Series that will be televised worldwide in the month ahead,” says Sangara.

Sangara says he’s been grateful to Richmond City Baseball for working together with Richmond Little League for the benefit of the community, players, and the sport as a whole.

Richmond Little League returned to competitive play for the first time in three years, but the team was not able to practice as much as some other teams that had played for years. Despite the difference in skill and experience, and the results of the season, team members were able to grow as individual players and as a group.

“While we were not very successful as determined by (our) win-loss record, I think the players had a very memorable and satisfactory season,” says Sangara. “They got better every game, met new friends both from within and outside Richmond, and got to learn from more developed baseball programs.”

The tournament also gave several players the courage to try out for the District 6 U13 All-Star team, which will be competing in the Baseball B.C. qualifiers at Palmer secondary from Aug. 5 to 7. Should they make the team, Hero Iverson and Jaxon Van Der Hijde will be able to represent Richmond in the Canadian and Western Championships for the District 6 Saints.

Sangara and assistant coaches Jason Tse, Mike Liu, and Shayne Van Der Hijde were able to grow in their respective roles. They also found inspiration for what they want their team to look like in the future.

Aside from playing against competition from outside Richmond and creating long-lasting bonds with their teammates, team members attended a Vancouver Canadians baseball game. During the game, the team was “recognized on the scoreboard, collectively won (the title of) ‘Fans of the Game,’ and received numerous autographs from many of the up-and-coming Toronto Blue Jays,” says Sangara.

Heading into the offseason, coaches have seen and understood what sets better teams apart.

“(This has) fuelled a fire, as many Richmond players have the opportunity that so many worldwide get to experience each summer,” says Sangara.

Although the season has ended, players who don’t have the opportunity to go to the Little League World Series will be able to work on their craft for the rest of the summer. Richmond Little League will be hosting a weekly sandlot program, Just Play Ball, at the historic Gibbons Park.

The goal of this program, in addition to continuing a strong relationship with Richmond City Baseball, is to give children of all skill levels the opportunity to learn the game. Those who have played the game before will also be able to build on their skills and have fun.

For information about the program, email info@richmondbaseball.ca

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