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NorthPaws Set to Open 2nd West Coast League Season in Victoria

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KAMLOOPS, BC—Excitement is in the air as the Kamloops NorthPaws are poised to kick off their second season in the West Coast League.

With the Memorial Cup junior hockey tournament being played in Kamloops, the North Paws asked the West Coast league to begin the 2023 campaign on the road.    The North Paws will open the campaign up at Wilson’s Group Stadium in Victoria, BC against the HarbourCats.  The three-game series kicks off Thursday June 2nd and winds up Sunday June 4th. 

Kamloops has 10 veterans back from the team which finished third overall in the WCL North Division (record 26-27).   The NorthPaws have changed managers twice since Cole Armstrong directed them in their inaugural season.   Former Major Leaguer Brian Anderson replaced Armstrong in October 2022 but resigned to take a position with Northwestern University (NCAA Div I).  Keith Francis was named his replacement this past April.   He and Anderson worked together with Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona and was initially coming to Kamloops as an assistant coach in 2023 before the promotion.

The HarbourCats have 13 players returning from the team which finished fourth in the West Coast League North Division in 2022 (record 26-28).

SERIES DETAILS:

Friday June 2nd  6:35 PM , Saturday June 3rd  6:35 PM, Sunday June 4th  1:05 PM

Games streamed at HCATS.TV

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Victoria:

1.     Cam Caley – LHP – Baylor University – Sophomore
2.      Harrison Caley – C – Baylor University – Junior
3.      Jesse Brown – OF – UC Santa Barbara
4.       Dallas Macias – 2B/OF – Oregon State – Freshman
5.       Hudson Shupe – SS – Seattle – Freshman  

 Kamloops:

1.      Andrew Stucky   C-OF  University of Texas San Antonio  Hometown: Tucson, AZ  Sophomore
2.      Robin Villeneuve 1B-LHP  Weatherford College   Hometown: Gatineau QC   Sophomore
3.      Tommy Green  SS-INF   Oakland University   Hometown: Courtenay, BC   Senior
4.      Felix Chenier-Rondeau  OF Oklahoma City University   Hometown: Blainville, QC   Senior

COACHES COMMENTS:

Victoria Head Coach Todd Haney:

“We have assembled a top caliber line-up this season and can’t wait to get things started Friday against the NorthPaws.  This is the 10th Anniversary season of the HarbourCats, and I’d like nothing more than to celebrate that by bringing the HarbourCats their first ever WCL title.  I think we have the team to do that this year and look forward to the challenges the season will bring us.”

Kamloops Head Coach Keith Francis:

Heading into the season you are always a little apprehensive about your roster. Did we get enough pitching is everyone healthy etc. we know we have several still playing in post season play so your not exactly certain who is going to be ready for the opener. Having used all the coaches excuses I am looking forward to the season. I feel like we have an offensive lineup with players who have had very good seasons at their respective schools. I believe that our offense may have to carry else early until the pitching works itself out. Our first series should be mixed bag of a lineup with so many players not expected for another week, but it will give are younger players a chance.”

 LAST YEAR’S (2022) SERIES:

The three games were played in Kamloops at Dearborn Ford Field.  The NorthPaws won two of the three games.  They opened the series June 14th with a 5-4 victory. Kolby Lukinchuk (Prince George, BC), came out of the bullpen to strike out the final two batters for the victory in his one inning of work.  Zac Beatty led the way for Kamloops with two runs batted in.

Game two had Kamloops beating Victoria 9-8. Ben Polack was the winning pitcher going three innings with a strikeout. He was the third of three pitchers for the NorthPaws that night. Kamloops had nine runs on 13 hits with four errors.

Victoria won the final game of the series (June 16) by a score of 8-3, scoring three runs in the top of the ninth inning after scoring two in the first frame. Michael Nunez was the winning pitcher going four and a third innings giving up four hits and striking out five. Shay Timmer took the loss for Kamloops. He was the second of four pitchers going three innings with five strikeouts and three walks.

NORTH PAWS NOTABLES:

The North Paws have 11 players from British Columbia on their roster including five players from Kamloops itself (three of them: Tyrelle Chadwick, Jared Sucro, Nolan Austin are veterans).

WOLFPACK CONNECTION:

Kamloops has two players who are currently members of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack baseball program:  Lukinchuk and first year outfielder Manny Recchi.   Former WolfPack player Adam Filmon has joined the NorthPaws as an assistant coach.  Filmon is the grandson of former Manitoba Premier Gary.

The HarbourCats have one TRU player on their roster this year.  Pitcher Sam Jordan who completed his first season with TRU in 2023.

HOME OPENER:

The NorthPaws will kick off the home portion of their 2023 West Coast League season Tuesday June 6th at Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium. It is a three-game series with the Portland Pickles.  Opening pitch on Tuesday, Wednesday (June 7th) and Thursday (June 8th) will be 6:35 PM.  Tuesday’s opening night festivities will include a pre-game ceremony.

Tuesday’s game will be “Blazers Night” where the NorthPaws will recognize the accomplishments of the 2022-23 Kamloops Blazers.  It is hoped some members of the Blazers hockey club will be in attendance for the contest and will be available to sign autographs.

If you can’t make the games in person, NorthPaws home games will be webcast here : https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/.   There will also be a select number of games will be shown on Shaw Cable.

For “Everything NorthPaws – Go to the website : https://www.northpawsbaseball.ca/ “

Kamloops NorthPaws tickets: ticketing@northpawsbaseball.ca

West Coast League: westcoastleague.com.

For more Information:

Jenna Forter
General Manager, Kamloops NorthPaws
Jforter@northpawsbaseball.ca

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – 2024 March Break Kids Camps Now Open for Registration

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The Victoria HarbourCats Youth Development Program is pleased to announce that registration is now open for 2024 March Break Camps over the weeks of March 18-22  and 25-29.

All camps are half-day camps and split into two distinct age groups….8-10 year olds (from 9AM to 12 NOON) and 11-15 year olds (12:30pm to 3:30pm) as noted below.

Camps are designed primarily for for existing youth players who are keen to improve their baseball skills with some extra training before their spring seasons begin.

All Camps take place INDOORS at the Edwards Family Training Centre – HarbourCats Indoor Facility, 1821 Cook Street.

Registration is available through the HarbourCats online store, “The Cat Shop” BY CLICKING HERE:

NOTE:  If you are a previous PLAYERS CLUB member that has prepaid for any 2024 camp and wants to be in these camps, please do not use the registration link, but instead, you MUST CONTACT chris@harbourcats.com to reserve your spot. All spots are limited and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. 

MARCH BREAK CAMP DETAILS:

2024 HarbourCats SPRING BREAK CAMPS – March 2024

Camp Dates: March 18-22 and March 25-29

ALL CAMPS APPROPRIATE FOR BOYS AND GIRLS AGES 8-15. 

PLEASE BE SURE TO REGISTER FOR THE APPROPRIATE AGE GROUP and if wanting BOTH weeks, to select both for purchase separately. SLOTS ARE LIMITED TO 15 players per group.

AGES 8-10, HALF DAY 9am to 12 Noon (WEEK 1 March 18-22) $200.00
AGES 8-10, HALF DAY 9am to 12 Noon (WEEK 2 March 25-29) $200.00
AGES 10-15, HALF DAY 12:30pm to 3:30pm (WEEK 1 March 18-22) $200.00
AGES 10-15, HALF DAY 12:30pm to 3:30pm (WEEK 2 March 25-29) $200.00

All camps will be run by Victoria Golden Tide Baseball players and coaches.

For anything custom like missing days, these can be prorated accordingly. In this case, please call the office at 778-265-0327 to register and ask for Christian.

 

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NorthPaws Add Jepson To Coaching Staff

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KAMLOOPS, BC—The Kamloops NorthPaws have added some local talent to their coaching staff for the 2024 West Coast League season.

The NorthPaws have agreed to terms with Riley Jepson of Kamloops.   Jepson is a graduate of the Kamloops Minor Baseball and Kamloops Riverdogs programs.  He will be the team’s hitting and infield coach.

“I am super excited to be back in a place where I got to play growing up and to be with a bunch of guys who want to advance their baseball careers,” Jepson says.  I hope to help them on their journeys. I, obviously had a lot of great coaches. I am hoping I can do the same for them.”

A first baseman, third baseman and outfielder, Jepson most recently played with Great Falls Montana in the Pioneer League in 2023.  He hit .374 with 120 hits and 49 runs batted in in 82 games.

Jepson had a ‘cup of coffee’ in the professional ranks. He was signed by the Chicago White Sox in 2022 and played with the Winston-Salem Dash, the Sox’s High-A affiliate.   While there, the 6’4” Jepson had 42 at bats, notching five hits, scoring a run, achieving one stolen base and had five runs batted in.

“I am hoping my extensive background will help the players focus on the summer,” he states.  “The summer is a grind for a lot of kids. They finish a 50-game college season and are instantly into another 50 game schedule. To help guide them after playing two 90 game seasons myself, I am hoping to teach them that it is a process. Not every day is going to be perfect. They need to learn how to grow from each day.”

The 26-year-old left the KMBA for a two-year stint with the University of Fraser Valley Cascades in the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Conference.  He had a stellar career where he still holds the league’s record for best batting average in a single season (.489).   He is still fourth in the CCBC history books in walks with 27 (2018, 2019).

At Fraser Valley, he was also named a CCBC all-star and was the leagues top hitter for two years in a row (2018, 2019).  He also helped lead them to their first league championship in 2019.

Following that, he went to the University of Texas at Tyler (NCAA Div II) for two seasons (2020-21). While there, he was a 2nd team “All Lone Star” selection and co-Male Athlete of the Year.

Jepson isn’t a stranger to coaching. He spent three years as an assistant coach at UFV. He is now the Cascades head coach.

Jepson joins Pitching Coach TC Fairfield as members of Bautista’s staff.  He hopes the fact that he is close in age to the players on the Kamloops roster will be a benefit.

“Having Riley joining us is great,” says NorthPaws head coach Jose Bautista about Jepson. “ It means a lot to bring two new coaches that bring more energy and positivity to the team. I think we are going to have the best season.”

“I actually got in touch with Jose through my old coach at Great Falls (Tommy Thompson),” Jepson stated. “Tommy knows Jose and told him I was interested in helping with the North Paws. Fortunately, this worked out.”

Jepson was a multi-sport athlete growing up. He played hockey with the Thompson Blazers in 2012-13 before playing two seasons with the KIJHL Sicamous Eagles.  He played 52 games with the Eagles in 2012-13 where he scored 14 goals and added 17 assists.  He also played one game in the BC Hockey League with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.  His last year of Junior hockey was 2013-14 where he had 12 goals and 15 assists in 52 games with the Eagles.

The NorthPaws open their 2024 West Coast League season May 31st at Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium.  Their opponents will be the Victoria HarbourCats.

Tickets and full schedule information are available from the Kamloops NorthPaws website.

For More Information:  Jenna Forter – General Manager – jforter@northpawsbaseball.ca

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Taylor Swift

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In conjunction with our partners at Maxxam Insurance, the Nanaimo NightOwls have a pair of tickets to give away to one of the Taylor Swift concerts in December, 2024 at BC Place in Vancouver.

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HOW TO ENTER

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Entering is simple! You just need to come to one, two, or all three of our qualifying games on July 8th, July 9th and July 10th (all against Kelowna), obtain and fill out a ballot at each game you attend and drop it in the entry drum.

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The final draw will take place near the end of the game on Wednesday, July 10th. You do not have to be present to win, but of course by coming to all three games, you can maximize your chances!

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And as a bonus, fans who buy single game tickets or renew vouchers for these games in advance, or who lock in season tickets by March 31st, 2024, can receive additional bonus entries (see below)!

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Here are all the nitty, gritty entry details! Please read carefully!

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All fans who hold tickets for the NightOwls games on Monday July 8th, Tuesday July 9th and Wednesday July 10th AND who fill in a ballot at the ballpark as noted below will be eligible for the draw.

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All ticket holders who enter the gates during these games, including season ticket holders and single game ticket purchasers, as well as walk-up ticket purchasers on the days of each game, will receive ONE paper ballot form for each ticket held upon entry.

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This ballot MUST be filled in and DEPOSITED in the contest entry drum at the ballpark. Ballots will be date and color coded with only the ballot for a particular game being handed out on that day.

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Note: If you do NOT attend one or more of the three games that you hold tickets for, your ticket is NOT automatically eligible for an entry unless it was one purchased prior to March 31, 2024 (see BONUS ENTRIES below). You must enter the stadium and get a paper ballot for entry for each game.

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Note: Ballots will NOT BE ISSUED either in advance, or after the fact, for games that you have tickets for but did not attend. If you have tickets for all THREE games, you MUST attend all three games to receive individual ballots for each game.

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Note: Fans should ensure they get their ballot forms upon entry. NO ADDITIONAL BALLOTS WILL BE GIVEN OUT INSIDE THE STADIUM.

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BONUS ENTRIES!

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Maximize your chances to win buy purchasing early!!

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Any SINGLE GAME TICKETS for the three qualifying games purchased on-line (SELECT YOUR TICKETS) or at the NIGHTOWLS Office ON OR BEFORE MARCH 31, 2024 will receive ONE bonus entry into the draw.

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Assuming you attend the game with your ticket, this will give you TWO entries total, per ticket.

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Any 10-Game Flex Pack vouchers that are redeemed for a game ticket for any of the three qualifying games on or BEFORE MARCH 31, 2024 will receive ONE bonus entry into the draw. (Note: These exchanges must be done in person at the NightOwls office)

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All existing PAID 2024 Season Ticket holders (as of February 6) will receive TWO bonus entries into the draw for each season ticket seat held.

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All Season Ticket RENEWALS and NEW Season Ticket purchases that are made on or before MARCH 31, 2024 will receive TWO bonus entries into the draw for each season ticket held.

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NOTE: Any Season Ticket renewals or purchases, flex pack redemptions, or Single Game sales for these games AFTER MARCH 31, 2024 will not be eligible for the bonus entries, but will still be eligible to receive an entry form when they attend any of the three games during the promotion.

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IN SUMMARY:

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Attend the games July 8th, July 9th and July 10th, obtain and fill out a ballot at each game and drop it in the entry drum!

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Pre-purchase single game tickets on or before March 31st for any of these games to get ONE bonus entry per ticket!

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Exchange ticket vouchers on or before March 31st for any of these games to get ONE bonus entry per ticket!

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Become a Season Ticket holder (new or renew) on or before March 31st to receive TWO bonus entries per seat. (All paid Season Ticket Holders will automatically get their two bonus entries)

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Come to the games and have some fun!

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DRAW DATE: July 10th, 8th inning of the game against Kelowna.
PURCHASE TICKETS IN ADVANCE AT:

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ONLINE – SELECT YOUR TICKETS – Be sure you are ordering SINGLE GAME TICKETS from our one and only ticketing partner Select Your Tickets, or you may not receive your bonus entries. There are a ton of secondary ticket selling sites out there, so make sure you are buying direct from our official partner.

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AT THE OFFICE – Serauxmen Stadium, 745 Third St.

– For both single game sales, ticket voucher exchanges and season ticket renewals and purchases.

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Questions? Please call us at 250-739-6113 or email tina@nanimonightowls.com.

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