Yorkton’s other Cardinals played a pair of games at home for the first time this season on Sunday afternoon.
Just about everything to do with this team is brand new.
More than half the players.
Even the team name is new, or will be a new one at some point, suggests the new coach.
The only thing that remains the same as it was last year are the team jerseys.
Cliff Leshchyshyn takes over the coaching duties ending Brian Trollope’s tenure as bench boss.
At least 10 of his players hail from the east. And the term Junior Cardinals probably no longer exists.
“There’s 10 guys from Manitoba,” Leshchyshyn points out following an 8-3 set back against the Canora Supers. Co-coach Terry Hawryluk, also represents the Manitoba contingent with the Cardinals, says Leshchyshyn.
Yorkton recorded a 4-2 win earlier that day against the Swan River Reds.
Playing out of the South East Senior Baseball League is the only other thing that remains the same.
Joined by the Yorkton Yankees, Yorkton Orioles and the Parkland Padres, the Cardinals will be facing some stiff competition this year.
With most of the roster not from the area presents the coaches with some problems in regards to holding practices.
“We need complete practices. We haven’t had a chance to practice. There’s lots of distance between (the) players,” he insists.
Through the five games this season that haven’t been cancelled due to poor weather, the Cardinals sport a 2-3 record.
“The enthusiasm I guess,” says coach Leshchyschyn regarding the attitude of the team.
They showed a ton of aggression in the infield through parts of Sunday’s doubleheader, getting caught in a pair of rundowns.
“There’s no egos on the bench,” Leshchyshyn continues. “We’re checking egos in the parking lot.”
He added that what should work to their advantage is that some of the Manitoba group have played Midget AAA baseball in Yorkton last year, and should know each other well now, he says.
Part of the Yorkton schedule will see them host or travel to doubleheaders; Leshchyshyn sees that as a huge advantage. He also noted that without the Roblin additions, there wouldn’t be a team for the Junior Cardinals.
“Because of the distance, it’s much better to put together two in one day.”
This year’s SESBL Cardinals team includes: Jayce Hawryluk, Arron Yeroschak, Jaden Hawryluk, Colby Parachoniak (Yorkton), Daryl Case, Logan Hawryluk, Lance Hawryluk, Scott Sharp, Jason Blommaert, Reid Zimmer, Evan Zimmer, Reece Keay and Josh Nattrass.
The Cardinals next play in Canora on June 6 and in Swan River on the weekend and will play the Yankees in Yorkton on June 11.