Banack steps down, Buzzell takes over Armena Royals for now

Posted January 22, 2010


Banack steps down, Buzzell takes over Armena Royals for now

Jason Buzzell has been named the new head player-coach of the Armena Royals.

This after head player-coach Clark Banack stepped down due to foreseeable work and time constraints in the summer of 2010.

Banack will still play part-time for the Royals, and will likely help out with the team in some capacity when he’s available, but Buzzell will have to have a greater role than last season when he returned to the hamlet after a three-year hiatus from the sport.

“I will be around for a few early season practices in April but then will completely disappear for the month of May,” Banack said. “I thought I should let (the team) know that, for the most part, my summer plans are set and it does look like (Buzzell) will be (running things) in Armena.”

Banack’s tenure ends with the worst record of any coach at 6-25 for two seasons. However, he may be put in the Armena Athletic Hall of Fame (if there was one) for saving the franchise. In 2008, the team was destined to fold after several players left to play in Camrose in the North Central Alberta Baseball League. He cobbled together a team just to make it through the season, then guided a very young team to within two wins of making the playoffs in 2009.

Buzzell said he will surround himself with lots of help and hopes veterans Josh Lyseng, Adam Johnson, a soon-to-be-signed Wes Wilson and hopefully…Joel Boettger can help co-run the team.

He says despite Banack’s management last year, he helped with decisions that were costly, and takes a lot of the responsibility for last season’s agonizing slide that saw them lose six of their last seven games, five of them by three or less runs, and the final game against Bardo after being up 9-2 after three innings.

“I’m going to be making calls in the next couple weeks and doing a little audit of last season and what we want to do this season,” Buzzell said. “I expect us to continue to improve and reach our goal of making the playoffs.”

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