Buzzilinear: Royals won’t be a pushover in 2009
Posted April 21, 2009
After a season of survival, the Armena Royals are looking for a little payback after several lopsided losses in 2008.
Clark Banack, who single-handily saved the franchise from oblivion, along with dozens of home grown, and Mexican bred, talent, patch worked a team together and literally trudged through 15 games of baseball.
Banack is excited about the return of a couple old original Armena players and the emergence of more young talent from the Hay Lakes and Camrose areas.
“I’m just so pumped for this season,” Banack said.
Banack is joined by original Armena Royals Joel Boettger and Jason Buzzell. With last year’s main stayers such as Josh and Ben Lyseng, Steve Thiessen, Cole Tomarkarski and many others yet to be named, there is hope the Royals could compete for a playoff spot rather than be also-rans.
“We might not be the most talented team, but we will be scrappy and never give up,” Buzzell said after the team’s first practice. “I like the look of some of the young guys and having Pumps (Boettger) back will definitely help.”
Young guys like Lee “Cakes” Palmer, Steve “Bergey” Bergstrom, Cody “Coco” Sroka and Kyle “Snorks” Ellis could all get key playing time throughout the year. Add in old hats like Jordan “Bushman” Bassett, Tyler “T-Bone” Olafson and Mike “Samsquench” Sampson, and the team is loaded with a good mix of veterans and rookies.
“I can tell (Bergstrom and Palmer) know the game,” Buzzell said of the duo who coaches a bantam team out of Camrose, but did not play ball last season. “They seem like good kids, too. That’s what we’re looking to build here, character players who bleed blue and hate Camrose – just kidding about the Camrose thing of course. Kind of.”
The team plays an exhibition game on Tuesday, May 5, against the NCABL’s Camrose Axemen. It sounds like the Royals could get a lot of looks at all of their staff, according to Banack.
“We’ll probably throw six or seven guys and let everyone get a chance to get in there,” he said. “That’s what preseason is all about.”