Stark has a long history on the baseball scene in Medicine Hat. He has been playing since the age of four, and spent some time on the Mavericks.
Now that he’s done being on the field, his attention has turned towards passing his knowledge to the team.
“Just kind of the basic skills, just kind of be able to develop in all areas of the game they’re hitting, pitching, fielding,” Stark says, when asked what skills they have been working on.
He adds, “they are pretty young and they’re growing too, so if we can get kind of their skills kind of honed in early, it’ll be much easier for them as they get older.”
When looking back at his baseball career, Stark says his past coaches were helpful, but he strives to offer even greater support. He says this age marks an important time for athlete growth.
“These kids are growing up and they’re gonna be looking up to you a little bit. So if I can just be kind of a bigger kind of impact on them, that’s what I’m kind of going for this summer,” he says.
This coaching style paying off so far, as the players say they’re comfortable on the field, and any pressure felt is brief.
15 year old Mason Heintz says, “Sometimes I feel a little pressure, but then when the ball is hit I know exactly what to do.”
Support also came from the stands, with many parents attending to support their children. 13 year old Kane Bishop’s father was watching all weekend, someone Bishop looks up to.
“He got drafted to the MLB when he was younger. He played for the Mavericks here in Medicine Hat, he was a pitcher,” Bishop explains.
Bishop says he feels like baseball runs through his veins, and wants to build a career around it. Coach Nathan Stark says Bishop’s dedication on the field is admirable.
“He just goes out there, he’s a bulldog. He goes out there like, he doesn’t know how to stop. He just keeps running and going, and it’s kind of hard to kind of tell him to slow down, but it’s like, I, I don’t want him to slow down cuz he’s, he’s been a very good player for us,” Stark says.
Stark says that this energy and dedication is something shown by the entire team.
“Just their energy. The kids come out every day and they’re so funny. I remember being that age too and just having fun playing the game. So that’s why I like coming out here. These kids just kind of make it all worth it,” Stark explains.
The U15 Saamis Rotary Majestics have a long summer of baseball ahead of them, and a record 17 wins and one loss isn’t a bad way to start the season.