Squamish baseball players were part of a junior team that finished at the top of their division in the regular season.
Locals Brady Reed and Coleman Kawaguchi, who are both 17, are part of the North Shore Twins' junior team, which secured the top spot in the 2022 regular season of the British Columbia Junior Premier Baseball League, or BCJPBL
With a record of 32 wins and 10 losses, the team was first out of twelve squads to secure the top spot.
Their closest competitors for the regular season were the UBC junior Thunder and the Langley junior Blaze. Those teams trailed respectively with scores of 30-14 and 27-15.
Reed, a Valleycliffe resident, said that a newfound chemistry helped the players ascend to new heights this year.
"Last year, we didn't do as well, because we didn't really bond as a team," he said. "But this year, we really did. I felt like that's what changed everything."
Team trips that involved the group staying together — sometimes with no parents allowed — helped the players get to know each other and bond.
Getting into the specifics of play, Reed also said that having solid hitters this season was also a big factor in the team's success.
"Our bats came alive this year. That's what really carried us," he said.
Many balls were put into play, and the team was able to get the top opposing pitchers out of the game at a faster rate.
Both players recalled some favourite memories this past season where they helped contribute to the team's success.
"We had a doubleheader in Victoria," Reed recalled. "And the game before I went [zero] for four strikeouts, and then the next game I went three for three with like five RBIs and then ended up winning the game."
It was a challenging start, but he wound up recovering the next game to great effect.
"When I went [zero] for four strikeouts, I was just not having it. Didn't want to be there," he said. "The next game came around and I just felt in it once I got that first hit, and it just kept going."
For Kawaguchi, a Dentville resident, his time at the pitcher's mound was a big highlight.
"Probably like near the end of the season. I made my first pitching appearance in like two years. It was like fun to do," he said.
For a time, he stopped pitching, but during one game, the team decided to give their regular pitchers a break. Kawaguchi then stepped up.
"It was fun," he said.
With both players nearing the end of their high school days, they both have their eye on playing ball for post-secondary institutions.
The North Shore Twins have historically been a feeder team for university and college teams, and both players are aiming to capitalize on that fact. The squad has a storied history, with perhaps its most well-known draftee being the now-retired MLB pitcher, Ryan Dempster.
Fresh off the end of their season, the pair said they're getting back to training within the next couple of weeks.
In the long run, both have dreams of making it to the professional leagues, with Reed gunning for a gig with the St. Louis Cardinals and Kawaguchi aiming for the New York Yankees.