Jul 31, 2009 | Dan Thompson | 256 views
Tribute To The Senior Terriers
There are times that words simply cannot be found to describe many experiences in life. This is one of those times however we'll do our best to take you through the baseball careers of this gritty group of graduating Terriers.
It has been almost a year now since this group of Sr. Terriers played together for the first time. From that day late last summer they have compiled a very impressive 64-21 (.753) overall record.
That 85 game schedule includes games and tournaments versus college teams, US and Canadian travel teams, the PBLO season and this past summer's tournament schedule.
That incredible roll started with an 8 and 2 trip to Arizona last fall, including a perfect 5 and 0 record in the Triple Crown Rising Sun Tournament. After a brief Christmas break, this very dedicated team put their work boots on and spent the winter preparing for the Terriers annual March trip to south Florida. After a 6 and 4 trip up against mostly US college competition they were ready to take on their Ontario counterparts in the PBLO. A 24 and 5 record was good enough to deliver the league championship, the second for the Terriers in the past four years.
With June, came the MLB draft and for the second consecutive year the Terriers lead the country in draft picks. Jeff Hunt (Dodgers), Mitch Clarke (Reds), Chandler McLaren (Brewers). Jeff and Mitch have both since signed and are off to the minors. Terriers' alumni, Josh Garton was also drafted, and he has signed with the Reds.
In their first summer tournament on Canada Day weekend the SRs reached the championship game, falling to the older 19u Quebec Canada Summer Games team.
Following the Canada Day weekend it was off to Ohio and the Buckeye Elite tournament, where they posted a 3 and 1 record. All three victories were of the come from behind variety. Joel Stubbs hit a three run seventh inning bomb in the first win, Chandler McLaren hit a two run homer in tenth to help out with their second win and Graeme Carey hit a two run home run in the sixth for the third win in the Buckeye Elite. These types or performances were becoming very typical for this team, as they had taken on a never say die mentality. The best was yet to come!
Music City USA and the 18u Sandlott Baseball World Series would be their next stop, and what lied ahead was a courageous battle through eight games in five days. The 36 team Nashville tournament provided great individual and team performances that will not soon be forgotten. Specifically by Kevin Nickel, Nathan Loehle, Chandler McLaren, and Joel Stubbs who played the best baseball of their respective Terrier careers. On the mound, the Terriers meandered through the marathon tournament with great outings from Jas Rakkar, Benson Merritt, Tavis Bruce, Matt Betts, Riley Bohar and youngster Austin Huibers.
After given up for dead with a three and one record and on the wrong side of the two brackets, the Terriers battled back with three consecutive victories to reach the championship final game on Sunday afternoon. In fact, this group of gritty young men ended up playing four games in less than 20 hours, eventually falling to the Team Connecticut Americans, 3-2 in the hard fought championship. It was an incredible ride for the players, coaches and parents that were there to witness their boys become young men right before their eyes.
Here is an individual look at this group of very special young men.
Tanner Nivins - Tanner has acquired a scholarship to Stony Brook University (NCAA D1) and will report to campus at the end of August. Tanner played on the Ontario team that won the Canada Cup National Championship last summer and was also named the tournaments top hitter. He has also traveled with Canada's Junior National Team to Orlando and the Dominican Republic.
Kevin Nickel - Kevin has acquired a scholarship to UBC (NAIA) and will report to campus at the end of August. He is a long ball threat every time he steps into the box. Kevin hit a staggering .560 at the 18u World Series with 7 doubles, two home runs, 12 RBIs and a slugging percentage of 1.08! Kevin has been named as a roster player to the Ontario team that will represent the province at the Canada Summer Games later this summer in PEI.
Graeme Carey - Graeme has acquired a scholarship to UBC (NAIA) and will report to campus later this August. This past year splitting his time between LF and DH Graeme hit .320, had 6 homers, 17 doubles and 44 RBIs.
Jeff Hunt - Jeff was drafted this past June by the Los Angeles Dodgers and has since signed a pro contract. That means he won't be reporting to Ohio University (NCAA D1) to play baseball on the scholarship he acquired last fall. Jeff also has a National Championship under his belt from the summer of 2008 in Medicine Hat AB. He has spent the past two and a half years with the Junior National Team along with the great 3 year career he had as a Terrier.
Nathan Loehle - Nathan has acquired a scholarship to the NAIA powerhouse Bellevue University. Nathan is a multi tooled talent, blessed with an outstanding arm and speed to burn. He had 98 career stolen bases as a Terrier! Nathan was a member of the 2006 Terriers World Series Championship team. In this years championship he belted two homers and hit an unbelievable .565. He had 5 singles, 3 doubles, 1 triple and 7 RBIs. Nathan played his heart out as a Terrier and is a tremendous team mate.
Joel Stubbs - Joel has acquired a scholarship to Binghamton University (NCAA D1) and will report this August to begin his college career. Joel was a member of 2008 Ontario team that won the Canada Cup National Championship. He has been the Terriers most reliable defensive player over the past three years, and also possesses tremendous leadership skills. Most recently Joel's consistent play continued at the 18u World Series where he sported an amazing fielding percentage at third base. Offensively he reached base 15 times and had 6 RBIs. Toss in a .376 batting average and the Bearcats are getting one heck of a player.
Mitch Clarke - Mitch was drafted in June of 2009 by the Cincinnati Reds and has since signed a pro contract and reported to the Florida Gulf Coast League in Sarasota. In his stellar two year career with the Terriers, Mitch had a 30 and 4 record. He had 181 strike outs in 118 innings pitched and an ERA of just 0.67. Mitch spun a 17k no hitter versus the Ontario Blue Jays in May of 2008. He would have been reporting to Walter State College (NJCAA D1) in Tennessee on scholarship next month but chose professional baseball.
Donovan Latour - Donovan has acquired a scholarship to Canisius College (NCAA D1) and will report to campus in late August. He was also a key member of the Canada Cup National Championship winning team in 2008.
Tavis Bruce - Tavis has acquired a scholarship to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NCAA D1) where he will be studying Engineering. This past season as one of the Terriers starting five pitchers, he lost just one game. Tavis was outstanding at the 18u World Series in Nashville where he pitched in two games gutting out inning after inning against very tough competition.
Billy Ralston - Billy is one of only four members of this team that will be returning for his second season. He has had a fantastic run as a Terrier thus far, logging 14 victories against just three losses. He recently was invited to the Selectfest showcase in NJ where he has garnered a lot of interest on the college front.
Riley Bohar - Riley has acquired a scholarship to Kalamazoo Valley CC (NJCAA D2) and report to the picturesque Michigan campus in late August. With the Terriers one game away from the final of the 18u Sandlott Baseball World Series, Riley took the team on his back and spun a three hitter in the semi's to give his team mates a shot at the championship.
Brandon Dailey - Brandon will be returning to the Terriers for another campaign, however he has already secured a scholarship at Ohio University (NCAA D1). Saddled with the very important responsibility of the shortstop position as a junior on this team, Brandon has been remarkable defensively. Brandon is presently a member of the Junior National team. His defensive prowess is not the only impressive element of his game, as he led Team Canada with a .330 batting average on their June trip to North Carolina in a five game series versus Team USA.
Austin Huibers - Still eligible to pitch for the 16u Terriers, this crafty lefty has done an admirable job for the SR Terriers this past year. He has been called upon to start in some big games, and has proved he belongs at this level. Last fall in Arizona he confounded college hitters five years his senior to record a victory. More recently he threw five excellent innings against the very tough 18u Ontario Blue Jays, and at the World Series, Austin got the win in game three over the Diamondbacks from Tennessee. As the ace of the Waterdown High school team, Austin carried his mates to the Rogers Center and the final four of the Ontario High School Championships. He also attended the Baseball Canada Mizuno Camp last fall.
Aaron Wagner - Check the dictionary for the definition of the following words... Grit, Heart, Desire, Perseverance- Aaron Wagner's name will be right there. He is the epitome of what hard work is all about. Ask anyone in the Terriers organization who is a great team mate and "Wags" will surely be near the top of their list. He is a coach's dream. Aaron caught countless bullpens over the winter and is almost single handedly responsible for the success of the Terriers pitching staff. As it goes in most sports and baseball is no different, the guy you want up with the game on the line is your hardest worker, because they just find a way to get it done. Aaron had a countless number of clutch hits for the Terriers, many of the game winning variety. He had a .400 avg in the PBLO! His lifetime avg with the Terriers is .330. Aaron will be attending the Douglas College (NWAACC) this fall.
Graeme Scott - Graeme has acquired a scholarship to Trinity Christian College (NAIA) and will report to the Illinois campus at the end of August. Graeme has had a great run with the Terriers at second base. In his career as a Terrier he has had the knack for getting the clutch hit, especially with two out. Graeme is a trusted team player, as several times over the past year he has been called upon to give himself up to move a runner, a task he accomplished with pride time and time again.
Chandler McLaren - Chandler was drafted in the 29th round by the Brewers this past June however he has accepted a scholarship at Volunteer State (NJCAA D1) and will report to their campus just outside of Nashville next month. Chandler is a projectable five tool player and has a very bright future in baseball. He has also had a very bright career as a Terrier. Chandler has stole bases, hit for average, hit for power and played outstanding defense in right field. Check out these numbers! During the Terriers March break trip to Florida Chandler hit .468 with a triple, 2 doubles, 10 singles and 7 RBIs. At the Buckeye Elite he had a .538 avg with 2 homers, 2 doubles, 3 singles and 7 RBIs, and saving the best for last, at the World Series Chandler hit a lofty .667, including 5 doubles and 9 singles for 13 RBIs.
Matt Betts - The highlight of Matt's career as a Terrier thus far came on Canada Day weekend. He took to the mound in Toronto and mowed down Royal hitters inning after inning en route to a no hitter! Matt followed that performance with several great outings in Ohio and Nashville. Matt was called upon to pitch in several tight situations throughout the Terriers summer tournament schedule, including getting the start in the final of the 18u World Series.
Jas Rakkar - Jas has acquired a scholarship to Stony Brook University (NCAA D1). He will report to the beautiful Long Island campus in late August. Jas won a gold medal in the summer of 2008 as a member of the Canada Cup National Championship team. He has been a major cog in the Terriers starting rotation over the past year. Jas was second in innings pitched on the staff. He took the ball twice at the World Series in Nashville recording two victories. In game one, he threw a one hit shut out and followed that up with win in game five over the undefeated Murfreesboro Warriors.