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Orillia Royals begin quest for provincial championship tonight

'It’s extremely important to our players because for most of them it’s their very last kick at the can for minor baseball,' says Royals manager
Orillia Royals U18 AA 2021
The Wes Brennan Construction Orillia 18U AA Royals will represent York Simcoe in the 2021 Provincial championships. From front to back are Mark Kuntz, Teddy Mccollum-Kuntz, Ben Barzo, Aydan Hall, Kobe Geofroy, Lucas Mackay, Briar Decaire, Nolan Ness-Thomas, Jhett Winkel, Whyatt Winkel, Chase Brennan, Owen Buckland, Wyatt Thompson and Wes Winkel. Absent are Owen Kaczanowski and Max Barzo. The team will be in action tonight at 8 p.m. at Jerry Udell diamond at Tudhope Park.

The Wes Brennan Construction Orillia 18U AA Royals are set to represent York Simcoe in the provincial championship tonight - for the eighth straight season.

The Royals finished their abbreviated season with a record of 14-4. They will now duke it out in a six-game round-robin with Windsor, Oakville, and Markham to decide the 2021 provincial champion. 

Royals manager Wes Winkel says the team's journey to the championship round started last September at tryouts.

“This team basically went two full years without playing a game, and then started the season poorly by losing two games fairly handily,” Winkel said.

“It was a real side effect of having a lack of competition for a while, but once we got into the swing of things we started reeling off a bunch of wins in a row and the last half of the season has been very successful.”

After the Royals lost the first two games of the season, Winkel says the team was highly motivated.

“It allowed the players a chance to refocus and realize they had to get back to work to make sure that they had their chance at winning a championship,” he said.

Despite this Royals team playing in the provincial championships for eight straight years, Winkel says this year is just as meaningful as any other year, if not more meaningful. 

“It’s extremely important to our players because for most of them it’s their very last kick at the can for minor baseball,” he explained.

“A lot of these players will age out after this year, so, this is a very important situation to them, and the kids have taken it very seriously and are working really hard at it.”

The first pitch for tonight’s game between the second-ranked Royals and the fourth-ranked Markham Mariners is 8 p.m. at the Jerry Udell Diamond which is located in Tudhope Park.

Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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