Successful return of Ryley Sports Days

Posted June 22, 2009


Successful return of Ryley Sports Days
The 2009 Ryley Sports Days weekend featured the return of baseball to the festivities for the first time in 7 years, and it proved to be a huge success for the community. “We had a lot of people from the community and surrounding area come out and catch more then one ball game throughout the weekend” said Ryley Rebel Manager Corey Epp. 
 
The Ryley Rebels baseball team hosted the baseball tournament and dance as a fundraiser for the team and had 5 teams join them for a weekend of great baseball. Originally scheduled to run from Friday to Sunday, Mother Nature forced the tournament to be played on Saturday and Sunday only this year as the diamond was unplayable for the Friday night kickoff game between the host Ryley Rebels and the Camrose Roadrunners. Though the infield was rough for most of Saturday, the Rebels, and specifically Travis Bugge, were able to get the diamond into playing shape for the rest of the tournament. 
 
Saturday saw some great sunny weather and perfect playing conditions for the 4 scheduled games as well as the home run derby. The day started off with a nail bitter between the Bardo Athletics and the Leduc Milleteers, as they went into extra innings where Bardo was able to come away with the victory. With the win, Bardo squared off against the Camrose Roadrunners later in the afternoon, as Camrose was able to come away with a win against the Provost Combine Pilots, while Leduc went head to head with the host Ryley Rebels in a close game that saw the Rebels pull off a close 3-2 victory. 
 
After the last game of the afternoon on Saturday, fans were treated to a home run derby in which teams were represented by their respective sluggers. 12 players participated in the first round with Ryley Rebel Dylan Solberg, Bardo Athletics’ Ray Lehman, Camrose Roadrunners’ Brett Harke and Ryan Mehler make it to the next round where fans saw Brett Harke hit the longest home run of the competition as he hit one deep into the ice rink beyond the right field fence. The final round saw fan favorite, and Powerline Baseball League legend Ray Lehman, a former Rebel, go head to head with former Armena Axemen Brett Harke. “I think fans enjoyed seeing a couple of guys who have played for a long time in the PBL go head to head” said derby pitcher Kris Kushnerick “It was cool to see how excited Ray (Lehman) was. He was like a little kid”. In the end Brett Harke won the derby with another long home run into the playground area beyond the right centre fence. 
 
Later in the night the Rebels hosted the Tofield Troubadours at the Community Hall for a dance. “We had roughly 200 to 220 people at the hall for the majority of the night” said organizer and currently injured Rebel Kevin Reinholt. “We got the thumbs up from the RCMP as it was a nice and quiet and well behaved crowd that never caused any problems”. 
 
Sunday saw the final games of the tournament as the Rebels and the Combine Pilots squared off in game one with the Pilots winning 13-2 eliminating the Rebels from the tournament. With the win, the Pilots went up against the Bardo Athletics in game 2 and won 16-5 moving them into a second meeting with the Camrose Roadrunners for the title. The first time these teams met in the tournament, Camrose won relatively easy despite the game being close until the last couple of innings. The second time though Provost would have their revenge as they knocked off the Roadrunners and claimed the title by a 14-10 score.
 
With the success of this years tournament and festivities, the Rebels have been approached by the village to run another tournament next year to coincide with the village of Ryley’s centennial celebrations, July 16 – 19, 2010. With the great support that the Rebels saw from the community as well from the Camrose Roadrunners, Bardo Athletics, Leduc Milleteers and the champion Provost Combine Pilots, there is no reason that next year cannot be as successful if not more successful then this year.
 
This years tournament couldn’t have been as successful as it was without the help of people and organizations in the community who supported the Ryley Rebels in bringing a baseball tournament back to Ryley Sports Days. The Rebels would like to thank;
 
– The Ryley Agriculture Society for donating the use of the hall for the dance as well as the supper on Saturday evening.
 
– Ryley Rebel player Travis Bugge for his commitment to making the diamond playable despite some tough breaks from Mother Nature.
 
– The Village of Ryley and Ken McLeod for installing foul poles for the tournament, the umpires were very thankful.
 
– The Tofield Troubadours who put on an excellent show on Saturday night as they kept party goers entertained throughout the evening.
 
– Jessica Neufeld-Thom, Keltisha Gremlich, and Keisha Pyzik-Knudslien for lending a very helpful hand with the cleaning of the hall after the dance as well as the running of the beer gardens all day on Saturday in the blistering heat.
 
– Ray “The Legend” Lehman who wrote a great article for the Powerline League website as well as the Tofield Mercury (June 16 2009 edition). It gave fans a little history lesson about baseball in Ryley as well as promoting the tournament to the community. 
 
– The Ryley library for running the concession throughout Saturday and Sunday serving up some great hamburgers, and hotdogs to all the hungary fans and players.
 
– Thor Agencies and Big League Sports for sponsoring the Ryley Rebels throughout the year.
 
– Mailman Bat Company for donating bats given to the home run derby winner and finalist.
 
– All the people in the community who came out to watch some baseball. It was great to see the support that baseball has in the Ryley community.
 
– Finally to all the Ryley Rebel players, specifically Kevin Reinholt and Corey Epp, who did a lot of organizing for the tournament, including the dance it made the tournament run smoothly and enjoyable for those who came out to enjoy some baseball. It took a lot of man hours and some sacrifices to ensure good times were had by all.
 
Thanks everyone and hopefully we will see everyone back again next year.
 
Ryley Sports Days
Baseball Tournament Schedule
 
Friday June 19th
Game 1: Camrose Roadrunners vs. Ryley Rebels (7:00pm) **RAINED OUT**

 

Saturday June 20th
Game 2: Bardo Athletics vs. Leduc Milleteers (9:00am)
Game 3: Provost Combine Pilots vs. Camrose Roadrunners (11:20am)
Game 4: Ryley Rebels vs Leduc Milleteers (1:40pm)
Game 5: Bardo Athletics vs. Camrose Roadrunners (4:00pm)
 
Wood Bat Home Run Derby (6:30pm) — Won By Brett Harke (Camrose)
Dance At Community Hall feat the Tofield Troubadors

 

Sunday June 21st
Game 6: Ryley Rebels vs. Provost Combine Pilots (11:20am)
Game 7: Provost Combine Pilots vs. Bardo Athletics (1:20pm)
Game 8: Provost Combine Pilots vs. Camrose Roadrunners (4:00pm)
Winners – Provost Combine Pilots
 
Posted on June 22, 2009 by Kris Kushnerick
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