Team folds due to lack of numbers
It wasn’t an easy decision for Don Anderson to walk away from the Moose Jaw Devons
Moose Jaw AAA Devons
But he had to.
“It was a tough call,” said Anderson. “I talked about it with my wife and family. I’ve been struggling with it for two years.”
With only about a month before the start of the Devons season was supposed to open, it has been announced that there will be no midget AAA baseball in Moose Jaw this summer.
“It came down to numbers and players. Our fall tryouts, the registration numbers were down quite badly. They have been declining,” stated Anderson. “I only had 12 kids and I lost three of the 12 a few weeks ago. So, it just came down to that.”
After being faced with a lack of numbers or interest of players, Anderson decided to resign from his post as head coach of the Devons.
There were many reasons that led him to that choice.
“Just frustration over how midget baseball has devolved over the last couple of years here and our struggles with enrollment. It just was not fun anymore,” he said. “I am a coach, I am not an administrator and I don’t like fighting with the powers that be and trying to have to convince people that there is a problem here.”
Anderson understands that playing midget AAA sports are time-consuming and that other summer sports may also be interesting for former or future ball players.
“AAA anything takes a certain level of commitment — financial, physical, etc. and not just from the players, but from the parents too,” he said. “Maybe it was just becoming too much for this age group.”
Anderson was involved with the Devons for three seasons and was never able to bring the team to a title and the squads struggled in the Saskatchewan Premier Midget AAA Baseball League.
He felt it was just time to move on from his role.
“I have been arguing with the powers that be ever since I got here in the midget ranks for three years. Nobody gets it. Lots of stuff went on over the last three years. It didn’t just happen over night,” he stated. “I just came to the conclusion that maybe I am not the right guy for the job or that I am fighting a losing battle or maybe I am a distraction for baseball in Moose Jaw.”
Anderson also doesn’t believe that it is just a problem here with declining numbers and that it is a wider issue that needs to be looked at.
“Midget AAA teams enrollments are falling in other smaller centres. It is about rural baseball where they just aren’t getting the strength in the numbers,” he said.
Moose Jaw Baseball has stated they have hopes of reviving the program next season. For this season, any of the players that wanted to play with the Devons will drop down and play AA with the Canucks.
For now, Anderson is just taking the time to decide his future and if it will include baseball again.
“Right now, I am enjoying not having to think about baseball,” said Anderson. “Maybe I will just get back to being a fan and watch (my son) Matthew play with the Canucks. I don’t know what will happen.”
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