Red Knights confident in spite of player loss

Is another South Region baseball title in the works for Northern Red Knights?

Northern Secondary School reclaimed the title in 2011, and has won it two times, but during an April phone call with head coach Brian Gaw, as he was heading through Kentucky with the team, he sounded doubtful his team could pull off another title.

“We’ve lost a lot of players,” he said, adding the year is going to be spent developing the team.

Still, the Red Knights know how to kick off the baseball season.

Every year Gaw takes them on a trip, and this time around the team was to take in a AAA Louisville Bats game, visit the Louisville bat factory and the University of Louisville, and soak up the view at Churchill Downs before heading west to Missouri
for a St. Louis Cardinals game at Busch Stadium.

Neither of the co-captains, infielder Axel Steger and outfielder Aiden McGivney, were letting doubt get the better of them during their annual U.S. trip.

“We’re just going to try to win some games and get everybody worked into the lineup,” McGivney said, over the phone. “We’ve won the South Regions for a couple of years now, so hopefully we can win that again, and do well in Citys.”

The two are comfortable in their roles as captains, taking the reins from players like Julio Ramirez and Andrew Ziedens.

“More or less it’s just passing on what I’ve learned over the past four years to the younger guys so they can continue the tradition we have here,” Steger said. “It’s not a hard job — I just have to guide them in the right direction.”

For the time being though, the team was enjoying some bonding time. When the Town Crier caught up with them they were heading to the Churchill Downs Museum — home of the Kentucky Derby, which happens May 2-3.

Once the fun and games are over, it’ll be back to field.

Gaw, also the acting convenor for the South Region, says Malvern Black Knights are the favourites to win the league, since “they only lost a few kids.”

“Lawrence Park is going to be decent, but I think Malvern’s the team to beat this season in the league,” he said. “If I was betting now, I’d pick Malvern to win, but as you know, in high school sports the team that’s supposed to win doesn’t always win.”

The Northern team returned home from the trip on April 27.

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Posted: May 12 2014 12:48 pm
Filed in: Sports
Edition: Toronto