The Belleville Dawgs are back for another baseball season, now playing at the under-16 level.
Formed in 2018, the Dawgs joined the Fergie Jenkins Showcase League in 2019. The league is a showcase and development opportunity for players aspiring to play at a higher level.
“They were especially great when COVID hit and were able to put together a great return-to-play guideline so we were able to have a bubbled season still in 2020,” said Dawgs president Tina Rae-Sararas. “John and Jane Allison were also super helpful that first season of COVID and helped us use the diamond they care for in Wellington.
A typical season runs from May until August prior to fall ball, which is similar to spring training and tryouts for the club, Sararas said, noting league teams span from Ottawa and into western to Quebec across to the Niagara region making for a busy travel schedule during the season.
There’s an opportunity to compete at tournaments in the United States as well.
In August, the FJSL puts together an all-star team from players in the league and travels to the U.S. to represent Canada and the league.
“I am joining with a few others in the league to form a recruiting team that will further help all the players in the league find the best post-secondary options suited for their needs,” Sararas added.
In April, a number of players had the opportunity to participate in a scout day with U.S. based program Between the Lines measuring athletes’ metrics and evaluating their results.
“The league is also hosting a showcase tournament in August where players from across the league are invited to participate,” Sararas said. “The event this year will have more than 30 schools across North America scouting. Currently we have three players who have been invited to participate.”
Members of the Belleville Dawgs U16 team are: Lukas Campbell, Braedan Melanson, Colby Sararas, William Hildebrand, Owen Ferguson, Mason Howe, Cole Eisenstadt, Jonny Buxton, Keaton Sararas, Aiden Allen, James Armstrong, Ben Buxton and Logan DeMille.
The Dawgs will host the FJSL year-end tournament for the U16 division Aug. 5 to 7. Details will be available on the club’s website and social media closer to the date.
Tryouts for the 2023 season will begin at the end of August and the organization hopes to add more teams in divisions between under-10 and under-18.
Applications for coaching and tryout registration is encouraged beginning July 15.
While they are the only club in the league without its own indoor facility, the Dawgs get pre-season training at the Loyalist Dome, Hastings Dome and at local gymnasiums.
“We have tons of potential here,” Sararas said. “This area boasts many great ball players eager and capable of post-secondary baseball across North America. We provide a local club for them to save a bit on travel and provide year-round training closer to home.
You can check out Belleville Dawgs baseball at www.bellevilledawgs.org and on Facebook. You can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.