Originally published in the West Central Crossroads (July 5, 2013)
Rhett Feser wasn’t content with his baseball season coming to an end in early June.
Invited to selection camp for Team Saskatchewan’s entry into the Canada Cup baseball championship, Feser made the most of his opportunity and on June 26 received the official invite to represent his province.
“I was pretty pumped,” Feser said about making the team. “That was my goal for the whole year.”
Canada Cup is the nation’s country-wide competition for baseball supremacy. Typically held each year in August, provincial teams go head-to-head to determine national recognition as being the best on the ball diamond.
This year’s tournament is in Sherbrooke, Que. from Aug. 3 to 10.
Growing up, Feser never imagined he would be given the opportunity to represent his province at such a prestigious event. Now before he heads into his final year of high school baseball with the Badlands Baseball Academy, that once unrealistic thought has become a true reality.
“To know that I’m pitching for something greater than just me and my team (is an honour),” Feser said.
Badlands Baseball Academy head coach Jeff Amos has seen a number of kids compete at Canada Cup who studied under his tutelage, suggesting a boost in confidence is one of the biggest impacts the Canada Cup can have on a young athlete.
“I’m excited for (Rhett). I think he is a guy that has a chance to do real well there and on that stage he could turn some heads.
“When you’re out there competing against the best in the country it kind of opens your eyes and you realize you belong there.”
With scouts from colleges in attendance, not only is this an opportunity for Feser to play for his province, it’s also a chance for him to get in an early tryout as he looks to earn himself a scholarship to play baseball by next spring. Heading into his grade-12 year at the Badlands Baseball Academy, the native of Unity, Sask. has made it clear of his intentions to play baseball south of the border once he graduates from the academy.
“For someone like Rhett,” Amos said, “this will be the greatest experience of his baseball life to this point.”
Feser and Team Saskatchewan will open tournament play Aug. 3 with two games — one against New Brunswick and one against Nova Scotia.
This will be Feser’s first time competing at Canada Cup.
Team Ontario is the two-time defending champion, having won in 2011 and 2012. Team Saskatchewan placed second in 2011 but has not won the tournament since 1994 in Moncton, N.B.
[PHOTO BY TAYLOR ROCCA: Rhett Feser pitches for the Badlands Baseball Academy – September 2013]