NEW GLASGOW, N.S. –
Maddux MacKenzie will experience what would be an honour for any athlete.
He’ll be wearing the provincial colours for Nova Scotia’s U13 baseball team, which will play at nationals, being held this weekend in Repentigny, Que., a suburb of Montreal.
MacKenzie, a 13-year-old student at New Glasgow Academy, was the lone Pictou County ballplayer to make the provincial team.
“Going to nationals is pretty cool, a good accomplishment,” he said with modesty, a few days before he set out for Quebec.
MacKenzie took part in tryouts with the provincial team this past May, in Stellarton. He impressed the coaches enough that he got a call-back for the next tryout sessions in June, where the hopefuls practiced and underwent two days of scrimmages. A few days after that, he was told he had made the team.
Any chance he might get the butterflies once the tournament gets going?
“I might be nervous a little bit for the first day, but we’ll get used to it.”
He’s played a lot of baseball this summer; in addition to his time with Team Nova Scotia, he also plays house league ball and is a member of the DQ Blizzards rep team.
Nova Scotia will play four round-robin games at nationals – their first contest is today, Aug. 22, against Ontario 1. Friday, they play Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and on Aug. 24 they’ll match up against the host Repentigny squad. The bronze- and gold-medal games will be held the following day and Nova Scotia would like to be in the mix.
“I feel like we can do pretty good,” MacKenzie said.
Team N.S. head coach Paul Mason said one of the things he likes about MacKenzie is that he can play catcher, or man positions in either the infield or the outfield.
“When you’re picking a team to go to nationals, you need guys who are versatile and Maddux can play a number of positions,” said Mason, who believes his team will be able to score runs.
“We’re a good-hitting team. If our pitching and defence can hold up, we can definitely be competitive with anyone.”