Wesmen add men’s baseball team

Open tryouts to take place fall 2012

Mike Krykewich, one of two coaches of the newly announced Wesmen baseball team, has been pushing for a squad at the U of W for years.  Cindy Titus

In 2010, the University of Winnipeg added men’s and women’s soccer teams, and college basketball teams to the Wesmen program. Next fall, there will be another addition – a men’s baseball team. 

Doran Reid, U of W’s athletic director, is excited about the new team.

“Adding baseball to the Wesmen family of teams makes a lot of sense,” he said. “Baseball is a popular sport and will work well with our model of providing opportunities for elite athletes to excel, be role models for the community and get a good education.”

The Wesmen team will be coached by Guy Yerama and Mike Krykewich, both of whom are veteran coaches.

Currently there are 10 of 25 spots filled by committed athletes, but the coaches are busy recruiting to fill up the roster as much as possible before September.

Krykewich and Guy have been working toward starting a university baseball team in Manitoba for a number of years, and are looking forward to getting started with the team next fall.

“I’m very excited that the university has taken this step forward to have baseball at the University of Winnipeg” said Krykewich. 

The Wesmen athletic department is also happy about the addition of the baseball team, and Reid expects great things to come.

“It is an exciting partnership with the Goldeyes, Baseball Manitoba, the baseball community and our two coaches/administrators, Guy and Mike,” he said. “Their involvement makes the chance of success a given in my eyes.”

Training camp with open tryouts will take place after the September long weekend, which will kick off the fall training season.

The Wesmen will practice until Thanksgiving, when their off-field training schedule will begin. Their post-Thanksgiving training period will last until practices resume in mid-January 2012. 

Next year, the Wesmen will not be in a conference, but they will have a number of non-conference and exhibition games beginning in mid-March. 

They will travel across the border to play teams in the U.S., including Jamestown and Minot State. 

Krykewich said the Wesmen also hope to have some home games in early April 2012.

Until the Wesmen have their own field, home games will be played at the Goldeyes’ Shaw Park.

During their first season, the Wesmen will apply to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which has teams in both the U.S. and Canada.

Presently, there are five Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) CanWest universities with teams in NAIA, including the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, the University of Alberta and the University of Regina.

When the Wesmen join NAIA, they will have conference games against the CIS NAIA teams, and NAIA teams in the U.S.

Published in Volume 65, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 10, 2011)

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