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'We’ll be young,' but 2015 Kentville senior Wildcats should be entertaining: Mosher

After taking last season off due to family responsibilities, Ian Lockhart is planning to be back at his accustomed place at shortstop for the Kentville senior Wildcats in 2015
After taking last season off due to family responsibilities, Ian Lockhart is planning to be back at his accustomed place at shortstop for the Kentville senior Wildcats in 2015

KENTVILLE - The Kentville Wildcats have risen, phoenix-like, from the ashes.

Just a few months ago, it was far from a sure thing there would be senior baseball in Kentville at all this summer.

“We’ll be young,” head coach Ian Mosher says. “Our veterans will be few and far between, but the ones we do have make up a great core.”

The list of veterans includes perennial all-star Ian Lockhart, who after playing sparingly last season due to family commitments, has been working out regularly this spring with the intention of returning this season to play shortstop.

Other returning players include pitchers Codey Shrider and David MacIntyre, both of whom can also play other positions. Young veteran Shayne Conrad will also be part of the 2015 pitching staff.

Mike Lockhart and Jason Pleasant Sampson are both rehabbing from injuries, but are planning to play, as are John Ansara and Kyle Dougan, both of whom saw action last season for the Wildcats.

 

New faces

The past two years, Kentville affiliated with the Tri-County Rangers junior team. A lot of the Tri-County players had completed their junior eligibility, and over the winter, some thought was given to fielding a Tri-County senior team in 2015.

While this would have added a team to the league, it likely would have forced Kentville to drop out, at least for this season, and maybe longer.

The Tri-County senior experiment ultimately fell through, leaving many of the former Tri-County players available to play for the Wildcats this summer.

The list includes Alex Ostrov, Devon Boutilier, Colby Turple and Joey Cavadini, all of whom spent time in Kentville over the past two seasons.

Cavadini, who played for Halifax in 2014, will join his former Tri-County teammates in Kentville. So will catcher Tyler Fancy, who played the past two seasons in Halifax.

Right now, Turple, a pitcher and outfielder for Tri-County, plans to not pitch this season, although Mosher pointed out, “he can still change his mind.”

Cavadini and Ostrov, both of whom will pitch, are also good position players and hitters, which allows the Wildcats some flexibility on the roster.

At present, the provisional roster includes Conrad, MacIntyre, Shrider, Ostrov, Cavadini, and possibly Turple as pitchers.

 

Up in the air

There are still a few question marks on the roster, most notably Ryan Power, Kevin Nichols - who may come out of retirement - and Jake Lonar, who will play with the provincial U-17 team but could be available later in the season. Cavadini, Turple, Nichols and Lonar are all left-handers.

Fancy, Mosher and Boutilier, who “can play just about anywhere,” are down as catchers. Infielders include Mike Lockhart, Dougan, Cavadini, Jeff Longaphy, MacIntyre, Mike Mills, Matt Johnston, Ian Lockhart, Devin Balsor, Ansara, Ostrov, Boutilier and Shrider.

Outfielders include Shrider, Turple, Pleasant Sampson, Mike Lockhart, Boutilier, Balsor and Jamie MacNeil, a Halifax native who last played for Sydney.

Billy MacKenzie, who last played for the Wildcats in 2013, has also contacted Mosher. MacKenzie, a first baseman/outfielder/DH who lives in New Glasgow, has said he is interested in playing this season if and when his schedule allows.

Mosher pointed out the Wildcats “have the luxury of having a lot of players who can play more than one position.”

 

New affiliation

The senior team will be affiliating with the Kentville juniors this season, said Mosher, “in whichever way that will be the greatest benefit for both our teams.”

Longaphy was the only graduating player on the Kentville juniors’ 2014 roster.

Among the Kentville junior players who could potentially add depth to the senior team are Bradley Fuller, Dryden Schofield and Nick Tibert, all of whom can pitch.

Though Mosher acknowledged there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the team, things “are looking a lot better than they were a few months ago.”

Among the unanswered questions is “who will be able to pitch and when,” especially on a three-game weekend. 

“Following a year in which we had so much uncertainty, a lot of turnover and so many young players, I’ll have a lot of sorting out to do,” Mosher said. “I can see a lot of different people playing a lot of different places.”

Mosher has to submit his final roster to the league June 30.

“Things are pretty much open-ended until then. The nature of our league is such that every game counts, and we’re looking at starting the season without having had an outdoor practice.”

Moreover, the Wildcats’ young players “will have an awful lot of learning to do, and in a league where the average age will likely be 10 years older.”

If weather and field conditions permit, the Kentville Wildcats will open their 2015 Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League schedule at home May 16 against Sydney.

The doubleheader starts at 3 p.m., followed by a single game May 17 at noon – providing the Memorial Park field is fully dried out and playable.

Mosher was pleased, if the games can be played, that the opposition this weekend will be Sydney.

“Opening against the two-time defending champs will provide our team with a great measuring stick for where we are and where we need to be.” 

If Memorial Park isn’t ready for play this weekend, the Wildcats will likely open on the road the following weekend, and play the Sydney series later in the season.

Just a few months ago, it was far from a sure thing there would be senior baseball in Kentville at all this summer.

“We’ll be young,” head coach Ian Mosher says. “Our veterans will be few and far between, but the ones we do have make up a great core.”

The list of veterans includes perennial all-star Ian Lockhart, who after playing sparingly last season due to family commitments, has been working out regularly this spring with the intention of returning this season to play shortstop.

Other returning players include pitchers Codey Shrider and David MacIntyre, both of whom can also play other positions. Young veteran Shayne Conrad will also be part of the 2015 pitching staff.

Mike Lockhart and Jason Pleasant Sampson are both rehabbing from injuries, but are planning to play, as are John Ansara and Kyle Dougan, both of whom saw action last season for the Wildcats.

 

New faces

The past two years, Kentville affiliated with the Tri-County Rangers junior team. A lot of the Tri-County players had completed their junior eligibility, and over the winter, some thought was given to fielding a Tri-County senior team in 2015.

While this would have added a team to the league, it likely would have forced Kentville to drop out, at least for this season, and maybe longer.

The Tri-County senior experiment ultimately fell through, leaving many of the former Tri-County players available to play for the Wildcats this summer.

The list includes Alex Ostrov, Devon Boutilier, Colby Turple and Joey Cavadini, all of whom spent time in Kentville over the past two seasons.

Cavadini, who played for Halifax in 2014, will join his former Tri-County teammates in Kentville. So will catcher Tyler Fancy, who played the past two seasons in Halifax.

Right now, Turple, a pitcher and outfielder for Tri-County, plans to not pitch this season, although Mosher pointed out, “he can still change his mind.”

Cavadini and Ostrov, both of whom will pitch, are also good position players and hitters, which allows the Wildcats some flexibility on the roster.

At present, the provisional roster includes Conrad, MacIntyre, Shrider, Ostrov, Cavadini, and possibly Turple as pitchers.

 

Up in the air

There are still a few question marks on the roster, most notably Ryan Power, Kevin Nichols - who may come out of retirement - and Jake Lonar, who will play with the provincial U-17 team but could be available later in the season. Cavadini, Turple, Nichols and Lonar are all left-handers.

Fancy, Mosher and Boutilier, who “can play just about anywhere,” are down as catchers. Infielders include Mike Lockhart, Dougan, Cavadini, Jeff Longaphy, MacIntyre, Mike Mills, Matt Johnston, Ian Lockhart, Devin Balsor, Ansara, Ostrov, Boutilier and Shrider.

Outfielders include Shrider, Turple, Pleasant Sampson, Mike Lockhart, Boutilier, Balsor and Jamie MacNeil, a Halifax native who last played for Sydney.

Billy MacKenzie, who last played for the Wildcats in 2013, has also contacted Mosher. MacKenzie, a first baseman/outfielder/DH who lives in New Glasgow, has said he is interested in playing this season if and when his schedule allows.

Mosher pointed out the Wildcats “have the luxury of having a lot of players who can play more than one position.”

 

New affiliation

The senior team will be affiliating with the Kentville juniors this season, said Mosher, “in whichever way that will be the greatest benefit for both our teams.”

Longaphy was the only graduating player on the Kentville juniors’ 2014 roster.

Among the Kentville junior players who could potentially add depth to the senior team are Bradley Fuller, Dryden Schofield and Nick Tibert, all of whom can pitch.

Though Mosher acknowledged there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the team, things “are looking a lot better than they were a few months ago.”

Among the unanswered questions is “who will be able to pitch and when,” especially on a three-game weekend. 

“Following a year in which we had so much uncertainty, a lot of turnover and so many young players, I’ll have a lot of sorting out to do,” Mosher said. “I can see a lot of different people playing a lot of different places.”

Mosher has to submit his final roster to the league June 30.

“Things are pretty much open-ended until then. The nature of our league is such that every game counts, and we’re looking at starting the season without having had an outdoor practice.”

Moreover, the Wildcats’ young players “will have an awful lot of learning to do, and in a league where the average age will likely be 10 years older.”

If weather and field conditions permit, the Kentville Wildcats will open their 2015 Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League schedule at home May 16 against Sydney.

The doubleheader starts at 3 p.m., followed by a single game May 17 at noon – providing the Memorial Park field is fully dried out and playable.

Mosher was pleased, if the games can be played, that the opposition this weekend will be Sydney.

“Opening against the two-time defending champs will provide our team with a great measuring stick for where we are and where we need to be.” 

If Memorial Park isn’t ready for play this weekend, the Wildcats will likely open on the road the following weekend, and play the Sydney series later in the season.

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