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West Coast League revises 2021 schedule to eliminate International travel

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The West Coast League has announced the adoption of a revised 2021 schedule that eliminates all regular-season international travel.

The new schedule will consist of the league’s U.S.-based members playing each other, and the league’s Canada-based members doing the same. This revised structure leaves open the possibility of a full league playoff format.

“After the adversities we all faced last year,” West Coast League Commissioner Rob Neyer said, “we’re looking forward to a new season devoted to our communities and our student-athletes. At the same time, we’re grateful for the guidance and assistance of local, state, and provincial health officials while prioritizing the health and safety of our players, staffs, fans, and host families.”

The revised schedule for U.S.-based teams was announced Tuesday and includes 48 WCL games per team, with the regular-season slate beginning on Friday, June 4, and ending on Thursday, August 12.

All 10 U.S. teams will be in action for Opening Night, with the Bellingham Bells hosting the Port Angeles Lefties, the Ridgefield Raptors hosting the Bend Elks, the Yakima Valley Pippins hosting the Corvallis Knights, the Cowlitz Black Bears hosting the Walla Walla Sweets, and the Portland Pickles hosting the Wenatchee AppleSox.

Of course, all West Coast League teams will continue to follow local and state guidelines regarding health and safety.

Click here to view the full U.S. only schedule.

“I’m confident,” Neyer said, “that this new schedule serves as a tremendous framework for what’s looking like an exciting return to WCL baseball in 2021. Of course we’re disappointed that our U.S. teams won’t be visiting our Canadian teams, and vice versa. But we remain optimistic about a restorative 2021 season north of the border as well, especially with three new teams in wonderful markets.”

The League and four Canadian teams—the Victoria HarbourCats, along with the expansion Edmonton Riverhawks, Kamloops NorthPaws, and Nanaimo NightOwls—continue to work toward a Canadian-only schedule, while closely monitoring the pandemic responses by border officials and provincial health officers.

The Kelowna Falcons announced last week their withdrawal from the 2021 schedule. “Although a tough decision,” Falcons general manager Mark Nonis said, “I feel that it’s the right one at this time, for both my players and my community. So now we’re turning our focus in Kelowna toward a great West Coast League season in 2022.”

With 15 teams spread across two U.S. states and two Canadian provinces—including our new teams in British Columbia and Alberta—the WCL’s growing geographic diversity remains one of our great strengths, as we continue providing tremendous opportunities for outstanding collegiate players to compete in the West’s premier collegiate summer baseball league.

For team-specific information, including game times and non-league exhibition games, please consult the teams’ individual websites.

About the West Coast League: The West Coast League is the West’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Encompassing Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and now Alberta, the WCL showcases pro prospects from major conferences around the nation. Every summer, the league features unparalleled fan and player experiences, with North America’s best baseball weather. The 2019 MLB amateur draft began with former Corvallis Knight Adley Rutschman selected with the overall No. 1 pick by the Baltimore Orioles. Also in 2019, 317 WCL alums were active in affiliated professional baseball, including 45 in the major leagues, while overall attendance in the West Coast League increased to nearly half a million fans.

Summer Collegiate

Help Us Name Our New Canine Friend

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Our newest friend is dreaming of full stands at Norbrock Stadium.

The newest member of the Kamloops NorthPaws is dreaming of full stands today, on what was supposed to be our inaugural home opener.

This large brown and white canine was adopted from the BC SPCA Kamloops & District Branch to keep us company leading up to our first season at Norbrock Stadium next summer.

This quiet doggo is very playful and loves to make new friends.  This dog is very well-trained and can shake a paw, roll over, play fetch in the outfield and even walk on two legs.

Our new companion has been settling in and has already been spotted bounding through the outfield, dancing in the bleachers, and chasing geese and marmots around Mac Island. Although puzzled by the lack of fans to play with, this friendly canine is excited to explore the Kamloops region this summer.

Keep your eyes out for your chance to meet our new friend this summer, and when you do, please be gentle and don’t play too… ruff.

The new pup does not yet have a name and we need your help. Send us your best, creative ideas.

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NorthPaws Co-Owner to Receive Honourary TRU Degree

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NorthPaws co-owner Norman Daley will be one of four recipients of an honourary degree from Thompson Rivers University in their spring 2021 convocation ceremonies in June.

Daley will be recognized by the university as a community-minded chartered accountant, according the a press release.

In addition to bringing the West Coast League to Kamloops, Daley has been involved in volunteerism in the community for decades. His volunteerism includes co-chair for the 2016 Women’s World Hockey Championship, chairman of the Kamloops Blazers Advisory Board, volunteer chair for the 2014 Tim Hortons, local media chair for the World Junior Hockey Championship, helping the campaign to open the Sussex Insurance Centre indoor baseball facility, community sponsorship co-ordinator for the Kamloops International Baseball Tournament, and working with the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society.

He was previously awarded the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the Year, Kaizen Award from Sport BC for Innovative Leadership, Community Service Award from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC, and the Pioneer Spirit Award from Kamloops Mayor and City Council.

He was also the founding partner of Daley & Company LLP, Kamloops’ largest independently owned and operated accounting firm, which recently merged with Grant Thornton LLP.

Journalist Andre Picard, computer scientist Maria Klawe and lawyer Marving Storrow are the other honourary degree recipients. Click here for the full press release.



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Western Canadian Baseball League ramping up plans for all-Canadian season

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Lethbridge, AB – In light of the Alberta government’s re-opening plans unveiled on Wednesday, the Western Canadian Baseball League is closing in on some key dates for its upcoming season.

After listening to the announcement, WCBL president Kevin Kvame met with governors to discuss the next steps.

“We have been in close contact with government and health officials since we announced our intentions for an all-Canadian season in March,” Kvame said. “With today’s announcement, we’re extremely excited by the possibilities that are on the horizon for this summer.”

It’s expected that the season will begin on June 18 with the Okotoks Dawgs visiting the Lethbridge Bulls while the expansion Sylvan Lake Gulls host the Edmonton Prospects.

“We will begin the season with a limited number of fans in the stands, as per guidance from officials,” Kvame commented. “We also anticipate increasing that capacity in late-June or early-July, depending on hospitalizations and vaccination rates.”

A tentative schedule is expected to be released over the next week, with the plan for playoff semi-finals August 16-18 and the championship series to be held August 20-22.

He adds the league and its teams will continue to exercise diligence throughout the summer and adhere to all provincial guidelines as they are changed and adopted.

“We’re just excited to get back on the field and provide a great summer of baseball for our talented Canadian players,” Kvame concluded. “We’re also excited for our fans, who we applaud for standing by us as we’ve been planning this season.”

Stay tuned to the Western Canadian Baseball League’s website http://westerncanadianbaseballleague.ca/ and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for further updates on this upcoming season.

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