For the first time since the early ‘90s, Smithers has a men’s fastball team in Moricetown’s Kyah Wiget Fastball League. The Smithers Dodgers have played a few games in Moricetown, and last Saturday, Heritage Park in Smithers hosted three games.
The Dodgers are playing against three established Moricetown teams, including the Moose, the Grizzlies and the Arrows. Long-time Moricetown player Darren Loverin is happy to finally have a hometown team, as he’d tried for years to start up a squad in Smithers.
“I tried to get a team for years and years,” he said.
Although all the teams sometimes scramble for players who may be away working in camps, players often fill in for other teams when numbers are low, to ensure the game goes on.
“We’ve got our core of seven or eight guys now,” said Loverin. The rest are a rotating cast of whoever is available to play.
Stan Nikkal, who’s been involved for many years with Kyah Wiget, said this year almost saw enough numbers to start a team in Telkwa. He hopes next year may see teams from Telkwa, Houston and Smithers joining the Moricetown teams in the league. Part of the attraction for players is a fair approach that sees umpires from each team officiating for other games.
“We make sure this is a fun game,” he said. Arguing with umpires isn’t tolerated, and teams appear more than happy to just enjoy playing the game.
League organizer Conrad Nikkal said everyone involved is there because they love baseball, and potential players should consider either joining a team or filling in as subs when numbers are low.
“We’re always looking for new players,” he said.
The season runs until the end of July, and the league may host a northern tournament the last weekend in June in Moricetown. For more information or to sign up to play, contact Conrad Nikkal at 250-877-0200.