Top 10 Stories From The 2009 Rebels Season

Posted January 10, 2010


Top 10 Stories From The 2009 Rebels Season

The 2009 Powerline Baseball League season marked the return of the Ryley Rebels to the league and almost immediately the team made an impact on and off the field. Here is a list of the top moments from the return of the Ryley Rebels. 

#10 – Capt. Ayre Lake Festivities

July 25 – 26th 2009 

Capt Ayre Lake Campgrounds

Best tournament the Ryley Rebels traveled to in 2009, hands down. It was a sentiment that was shared by all the Rebels who attended the tournament as well as some who wished they were there. 

The Rebels were in for a treat when asked by the hosting team, the Cadogan Nitehawks, to attend their annual tournament at the end of July. The weather was clear and hot, the scenery was top notch and plentiful, the atmosphere was great and the social was the perfect way to cap off the weekend. We think. The Rebels were able to take over the social with great party games and more then enough enthusiasm. “Spreading the Rebel name far and wide” said Rebel OF Corey Epp, who later that evening was found lost and in the dark trying to find his campsite by some good Samaritans who led him most of the way back. Although the details are fuzzy at best, it proved to be a great evening. 

The Capt Ayre Lake Baseball Tournament is played on a baseball diamond situated right in the middle of a camp ground. With RV’s and trailers surrounding the diamond (umpire Doug Bowie’s trailer window was a near victim), a slo-pitch diamond beyond the left field fence, and the lake just out side the centre field fence, it made for a great atmosphere. 

The tournament was set to run on the Saturday and Sunday for the 5 teams that attended. The Rebels joined the host Cadogan Nitehawks, the Provost Combine Pilots, Lougheed Wildcats, and the Irma Royals in a round robin type of format that saw everyone play everyone. One of the highlights from the baseball side of the tournament was the Provost/Cadogan game on Saturday afternoon. A rivalry that saw the young (Provost) vs. the veteran (Cadogan) go head to head in a heated affair. With wives, girlfriends, friends, and family sitting in the stands seemingly waiting for the bad blood to spill over, it was a great atmosphere to be in. 

The Rebels ended up 1-2-1 in the tournament by beating the Lougheed Wildcats, losing to the Cadogan Nitehawks and the Irma Royals and kind of tying the Provost Combine Pilots. The game against Provost didn’t really ever get started on Sunday morning due to both teams not having enough capable bodies as well as the weather. 

Jason Buzzell of the Armena Royals joined the Rebels, and earned the victory against the Lougheed Wildcats in a 7th inning come from behind victory by the Rebels. The other new face was Jordan Jackson, who in his first baseball at bat, stroked an opposite field single then proceeded to go 4 for 7 the rest of the weekend with 3 RBI’s. 

The tournament, needless to say, has already been marked on the Rebels 2010 calendar and as Rebel Manager Kevin Reinholt stated “I think the team will be heading out there on Thursday next year”. He received no arguments. 

#9 – Rebels Steal 3rd Place

Going into the season there were many skeptics about the Rebels both on and off the field and whether they would be able to sustain a team for an entire season. When the Rebels started off going 0-3 (losses to Leduc, Camrose and Bardo) teams were licking their chops to meet the Rebels as it was a sure win and 2 points. On May 26th 2009, an article appeared in the Tofield Mercury stating that a certain team was excited at the opportunity to play the Rebels 4 times in 2009 to help them challenge for the PBL Pennant. But how quickly things changed. On the same day that the article was published, the Rebels went on to defeat the Tofield Lakers for their first victory of the season and then went on to win 8 of their next 12 games.

What started off as a lack luster victory against the Tofield Lakers turned into a surprise victory against the Leduc Milleteers, Camrose Roadrunners, and a season series victory against the Bardo Athletics. The Rebels though, lacked the ability to play well at the start of the year, and consistently. “I think if we finished 7-8-1 and played well in all the games we would have felt better then finishing 7-8-1 and only playing well in half the games” said Rebel OF Kris Kushnerick. 

When the Rebels played well, offensively and defensively, they showed that they could not only compete with the better teams in the PBL but beat them as well. 

In a short season, against 5 opponents, a team will need to play well in all the games to not only make the playoffs (4 of the 6 teams in the PBL play in the playoffs) but take a serious run at the PBL Championship. But as the Bardo Athletics have proven in 2009, once you make the PBL Playoffs you can take a serious run at the Title.

Putting a strong team in Ryley was key for Rebels management due to the amount of history that the village has with baseball and the successes that past teams had in the PBL. “They were some high caliber teams” said Rebel OF Kris Kushnerick “they would constantly be challenging for the PBL pennant year in and year out, and hopefully we can build on a third place finish for the future”. 

Rebel General Manager/OF Corey Epp reflected on his experience in the past. “I think it was good for us to put out a good team in Ryley knowing the strong baseball history in the village and all the success the past teams had” said Epp. “I remember watching the great teams they had in the 90’s when I was a young kid at Ryley Sports Day, Ray Lehman was Legend among men and you can see on the website all the championships they won.”

Epp is also optimistic that the Rebels will use the success of finishing 3rd to build for the future, “I think we will continue to put out a strong team and continue to improve and challenge for the title.” The Rebels made good on there goal for 2009 to make the playoffs and with that success and the ability to compete with the top teams, maybe looking for more in 2010.

#8 – Dylan Solberg’s “No Walk Policy”

In 2009 Ryley Rebels P Dylan Solberg did something truly remarkable, he only walked 4 batters in 55.67 innings, something that no one really came close to matching or beating in the PBL in 2009. Leduc Milleteers P Scott Peterson recorded 5 walks in 2009 but he pitched 21.33 innings less then Solberg in 2009. Through out his Axemen/Royals career Peterson was always one to never walk very many batters, he never walked more then 5 batters in a single season from 2000 – 2008 with the Axemen/Royals. Peterson’s best season with the franchise, 5 walks in 66 innings pitched in the 2004 campaign for the Axemen. 

During the 2009 PBL Season, Solberg walked only one batter, which occurred on June 24thagainst the Leduc Milleteers during the 41.67 innings he pitched in the PBL. Since the start of the PBL season to the walk, Solberg threw 28 – 34 innings of no walk baseball. Then went on another 7.67 - 13.67 innings pitches without a walk streak to finish the season. In a cruel twist, 3 of Solberg’s 4 walks came in the last game of the season in which he pitched against the St. Paul Cubs.  

Truly amazing for a pitcher who throws as hard as Solberg does and especially amazing considering his strikeout pitch is a split finger fastball that dives out of the strike zone. 

It may be one of those obscure stats that may never really be broken.

#7 – Curtis Stensrud and the Ryley Rebels vs. Donny Oslund and the Bardo Athletics

July 13th 2009 

Ryley Rebels – 1

Bardo Athletics – 1

On a warm July night, two of the most dominant pitchers the Powerline Baseball League has ever seen, squared off in a game for the ages. On the mound for Ryley was RHP Curtis Stensrud. Opposing him was Ryley native, RHP Donny Oslund for Bardo. The squared off in an 11 inning white knuckle game. But first we must put the game into context. 

Ryley was heading into the game 7-8 and in third place. A win (or a tie) would lock up 3rd place in the standings, ahead of the Bardo Athletics who were currently 6-8. A win by the Rebels would also put added pressure on the Athletics as they would need some help to make the playoffs. Bardo had to play the Armena Royals in yet another important playoff implication filled game. Should Bardo lose to Ryley, lose to Armena and then Armena finishes the year by beating the Tofield Lakers, the Athletics would be eliminated from the playoff picture. Bardo was able to secure a playoff spot the following night, July 14th as they came from behind to beat the Royals 12-9. 

This game also marked the 6th time these teams met in 2009, and every game played added more fuel to the rivalry fire. The game was a chippy and spirited affair which had late slides, wide slides, words being exchanged and even a feet first slide into first base, all ingredients to make the TV executives happy and the fans on the edge of their seats. 

Defensively the Rebels were being led by SS Dylan Solberg and 2B Brian Tavaroli who were flawless up the middle. With only 1 strikeout in the game by Stensrud, a lot of balls were put into play. 

Fans were also treated to the Oslund brothers battling it out on the field. With Donny pitching for Bardo, brother Ronnie Oslund was doing the catching duties for the Rebels. The fight was called a draw. Donny got Ronnie swinging once, Ronnie got a single off of Donny, and Ronnie was able to make contact but it was a fly ball. Wash.

Ryley was able to strike first in the 4th inning when Corey Epp was able to come all the way around from first when Oslund over threw Athletics 1B Ryan Stauffer on Rebels 3B Shane Metrunic's slow come backer.

Bardo was able to tie the game up in the bottom of the 7th when RF Pete Neufeld was able to score on a sacrifice fly by Oslund. Neufled had reached on one of 6 walks from Rebels starter Curt Stensrud. 

The Rebels had their best chance to put away the game in the 11th inning when SS Dylan Solberg lead off inning with a stand up double and DH Kyle Reinholt and OF Kris Kushnerick coming to bat. Oslund was able to get Reinholt swinging but Kushnerick was able to get Oslund with a hard single to left field that moved Solberg to third. OF Josh Lyons was up next and laid down a perfect squeeze bunt as Solberg was two thirds of the way home and Bardo was dead in the water. But, the ball rolled foul, barely. Lyons was able to smack an opposite field line drive shot to RF where Pete Neufeld appeared out of nowhere and was able to gun down Solberg who was tagging on the fly.

As the prairie sun was falling fast, the umpires decided to call the game due to darkness and the book was closed on one of the better games the PBL has seen. It also marked the end of the Bardo/Ryley rivalry (on the field anyway) for the 2009 season.

The pitching lines for both Oslund and Stensrud are remarkable; 

#6 – The Brian Tavaroli Scandal

With the Bardo versus Ryley rivalry in full tilt as the season progressed on the field, it was only a matter of time before the rivalry spilled off the field and into the rule book. 

Why is this seemingly “non-issue” on the list? The outcome of this episode caused the Powerline Baseball League to reconsider the playoff eligibility rules they currently had, specifically the 3 Games Played Rule, as well as how rules will be enforced and documented. As the PBL rule states, 2. A player must play a minimum of 3 regular season games by completion of their team's 12th game in order to be eligible for playoffs. Exceptions may be allowed with written permission from the league committee. With Rebels 2B/SS Brian Tavaroli and C/P Ronnie Oslund not meeting the requirement due to career and family obligations a written request was sent to the league to ask for permission to allow the two Rebels to play come playoff time, along with Camrose Roadrunner P/3B Paul Ofrim. All 3 players were voted eligible by the League Committee but it did not come without some objections. The leagues website was also bombarded by posts regarding the issue and it became one of the hottest topics in 2009. 

According to the rule, the Rebels needed to ask permission from the league committee (made up of a representative from each team) in order for Tavaroli and Oslund to play. They did, league committee said yes, case closed. Or was it? Tavaroli had not played significant amounts in the PBL prior to 2009, he can’t play. Tavaroli lives in Fort Saskatchewan not Ryley (or another small town in the area), he can’t play. Tavaroli played in games after the Rebels 12th game (including the July 13th game vs. Bardo) which apparently he shouldn’t have been allowed to. Here is the rule from the PBL website/rule book one more time; 2. A player must play a minimum of 3 regular season games by completion of their team's 12th game in order to be eligible for playoffs. Exceptions may be allowed with written permission from the league committee. Have to play in the PBL in prior years? Should be from a small town to keep that small town feel? Can’t play in games between the 12th game and playoffs?

There were some people in the PBL who were about not allowing Tavaroli to play, however Oslund and Ofrim were deemed acceptable based on the unwritten rule that if a player had played in the league in previous years, they would be exempt from the 3 Games Played rule and allowed to participate in their teams playoff games. Tavaroli was still seen as unacceptable even though he played in all 6 of the Rebels league games from June 18th to the end of the season, and had played 2 games before the 12th Rebels game. 

Were these people opposed to Tavaroli because of Tavaroli’s defensive ability which was on display on July 13th? Was it because of past grudges spilling out of the hockey rink and onto the baseball field? Was it because Tavaroli sported the #99 on the back of his jersey, a number which is reserved for Wayne Gretzky for anything in Canada? Or was Tavaroli a target because he lived in Fort Saskatchewan and not a small town like Ryley thus creating a situation that could ruin the small town feel of the PBL? Sources close to the ordeal also pointed to the Ryley Rebels website as a way for a team to quickly check on how many games a player has played and which games those were. Did people in the PBL use that as a tool? Were the Rebels being punished because they kept track of stats for the team? 

Bardo felt compelled to respond to the allegations by many that they were the most vocal and demanding Tavaroli not be allowed to play, by a post on the PBL website. “Not, and I repeat not because of the player, but because of what transpired a few years ago” the post read, and the incident of course was the June 24th 2003 Brewers forfeit to the Tofield Lakers which hurt the Brewers chances at the PBL Playoffs that year. 

In hind sight the situation was one that was blown way out of proportion, much like the Tiger Woods scandal. The Tavaroli Scandal spread like wild fire because of how the media is able to cover stories in sports today. With emails, blog posts, and a league website, people were able to quickly voice there concerns and comments while the fire was still raging. Looking back at the Fall PBL meeting should someone have looked at the rules when asked if there was anything to change? Probably. Should someone have looked at the rules when asked a second time at the Spring PBL meeting if there was something to change? Probably. 

We will never know for sure, but the future of the PBL has changed, at least it appears that way. In 2010 the league has proposed having an 18 Man Roster system in place to replace the 3 Games Played rule and teams will be required to hand in a finalized roster by a certain date (June 4th has been floated out there). It may also cause the PBL to really look at the rule creation/enforcement/documenting process. Could this be the incident that makes the PBL start to have a strict, or at least stricter, rule system? We will find out in 2010.

#5 – Rebels Win There First Game Since 2002

May 26th 2009

Ryley Rebels – 6

Tofield Lakers – 3

Former Tofield Laker and current Tofield resident, Corey Epp was given the start for the Ryley Rebels against his former team in front of family and friends at the Tofield Fairgrounds or the Tofield Sandbox as it has become affectionately known.

The first win for the new Rebels came fittingly against there Highway 14 rivals, the Tofield Lakers. The last regular season win for the Rebels came on July 2nd 2002 against the Tofield Lakers helping the Rebels secure a playoff spot as the Bardo Athletics, who the Rebels were battling for fourth with, lost a shoot out to the Lamont Steelers 19-12 on the same night. 

Epp threw four strong innings for the Rebels, surrendering four singles and two earned runs, while striking out seven and not walking a single batter while facing 17 Lakers. Those two runs were enough by the Lakers to give Epp the no-decision as RHP Dylan Solberg came into the game and eventually winning the game. 

The Rebels offense started out slow as they only score 1 run in the first 4 innings as veteran Laker RHP Ken Parent held them at bay. The Rebels were however able to chase Parent in the top of the 5th inning. CF Josh Lyons, making his 2009 Rebels debut, reached on an error at short, followed by P Corey Epp laying down his second bunt of the game which saw Lyons advance to second. 1B Darcy Granberg came though ripping a double and cashing in Lyons from second base. SS Dylan Solberg then traded places with Granberg after hitting what looked like a sure home run until the breeze came in off of Highway 14 and knocked it back in. That was it for Parent as he was relieved by the young Lakers All-Star Marcel Lesoway, as the Rebels led 3-2.

Tofield got to Solberg in the bottom of the 6th after the lead off man, Josh Banack, was awarded first after being hit in the fingers/hand. The incident sparked a heated set of discussions between the two teams as the Lakers felt that Solberg, who had been hit already in the game himself, was throwing intentionally at Banack. Two bunt singles eventually cashed Banack in bringing the game to a 3-3 tie and the Lakers were looking for more but a veteran play by Granberg, saw a bang-bang play at home that resulted in the Tofield Laker being out and a run saved. The very next batter for the Lakers hit into the first run down of the year at third, and the threat was over. 

The top of the 7th saw the Rebel bats once again come to life against Lesoway. Epp began the inning by walking, and Granberg moved him over to second base with a nice sacrifice bunt. Dylan Solberg was then hit by a pitch for the second time in the game, and LF Kris Kushnerick brought them both in with an RBI double to the gap, and was eventually brought in himself by 2B Kyle Reinholt.

In the end the Rebels were able to notch 9 hits in total however Tofield also committed a total of 9 errors which led to a lot of Rebel runners being stranded on the base paths, 11 to be exact. The positive was the contribution that the Rebels saw from 1 to 9 in the order, and specifically the middle of the line up. They did what they are paid to do, bring in runs and get on base. The 2 through 5 hitters (Darcy Granberg, Dylan Solberg, Kris Kushnerick and Kyle Reinholt) were a combined 7 for 13 with 5 runs scored, 5 RBI, 3 doubles, and were on base 13 out of a possible 16 at bats. "We played some great small ball with some timely bunts to move guys over, and I think that is going to come in handy come the playoff push" said Granberg, as the Rebels produced 3 sacrifice bunts/hits, all of which led directly to runs scored.

The win was not all good for the Rebels though, C Matt Starky ended up twisting his right knee while hook sliding into second base. Starky was never fully able to recover from the knee injury during the rest of the season.

Heading into the game the Rebels were 0-3 after losing the season opener to Leduc 2-0 and the home opener to Camrose 10-5, through in another loss to the Bardo Athletics and the Rebels were off to a bad start. For the Lakers, they too were heading into the Highway 14 match-up 0-3 and hungry for their first win of the season. As the season went on, the Rebels ended up winning the series with the Lakers 2-1 (4-1 overall) and the loss to the Lakers on June 30th may have been a turning point in the Rebels season. Heading into the June 30th game the Rebels were 6-4 in their last 10, after the loss, the Rebels went 3-5-2. 

#4 – Kyle Reinholt’s Stellar Season

In 2009, 2B Kyle Reinholt was nothing short of spectacular at the plate for the young Ryley Rebels. From the start of the PBL Season to the last tournament of the year, Reinholt was able to produce at a consistent pace, without ever showing signs of slowing down or slumping. 

The 6’3”/250lb Reinholt became the first, and currently only member of the Rebels .400 Club as Kyle hit .450 over 80 at bats in 2009. Reinholt hit .450 by smacking 36 hits including 9 doubles, a triple and a home run. With his 36 hits, Reinholt also became the first member of the 30 Hit club and was eventually joined by teammate Corey Epp who nabbed 30 hits in 2009. 

Reinholt’s ability to cash in runs, move runners over, and get on base when needed the most, was a huge part of the success that the Rebels experienced in 2009. None more evident then Reinholt’s first home run as a Rebel, against the Leduc Milleteers. With the Rebels down by one, and the Milleteers turning to there closer, RHP Kevin Doyle, Reinholt was able to hit a solo shot off the slo-pitch diamond dugout in deep left centre to tie the game. The change of momentum propelled the upstart Rebels to a huge victory over the heavily favored Milleteers in front of the home crowd.

Reinholt was also able to sustain his production over the course of the season as he led the team with 11 multi-hit games in 2009 (7 x 2 hit, 3 x 3 hit, and 1 X 4 hit games). Reinholt also set 4 single season records with 36 hits, 24 RBI’s, .450 average, and 50 total bases. Reinholt also shares single season records for singles with 25 in 2009.

Defensively Reinholt was solid at second base. Although not flashy, or rangy, Reinholt was always in position to make a play through his hard work scouting the opposition before the games. Soft hands and the willingness to absorb a hot shot, Reinholt proved to be a good defender for the often error laden Rebels in 2009.

Kyle was voted into the PBL vs. BRL All-Star game by his teammates in 2009, however due to a faulty selection process. After the Rebels selected Reinholt, OF Corey Epp and SS Dylan Solberg to represent the team at the All-Star festivities in Camrose, the league ruled that one of the 3 would have to stay home due to P Curt Stensrud’s selection by the league to pitch of the Rebels. Reinholt offered his spot on the All-Star to the younger Epp and Solberg. Great leadership from a great teammate. 

Reinholt’s 2009 campaign has set the bar high for his career while teammates and fans will expect Kyle to continue to contribute to the team, both at the dish and in the field should the Rebels have a shot at the PBL title in 2010.

#3 – Ryley Sports Days Are Back

June 19 – 21st, Ryley, AB

2009 marked the first time Ryley hosted a baseball tournament at the once famous, Ryley Sports Days, since the folding of the original Rebels in 2002. Joining the Rebels in 2009 were the Camrose Roadrunners, Provost Combine Pilots, Bardo Athletics, and Leduc Milleteers for a 3 day baseball tournament that drew fans from all over the County of Beaver. 

The Friday night game scheduled between the Camrose Roadrunners and the host Ryley Rebels, was cancelled due to the rain that occurred throughout the day. With the hard work by the grounds crew, specifically Rebel 1B Travis Bugge, the tournament was able to continue on Saturday morning, on a somewhat dry and rough diamond. 

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. 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 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 a great turnout from people in the community the Rebels are looking forward to again hosting the tournament June 18 - 20 2010, which is Ryley’s Centennial Year. The Rebels organization has also began talking about getting 6 teams to the tournament as well as eliminating the dreaded aluminum bat and making it a wood bat only tournament. 

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 

Winners Indicated In Bold

 

#2 – Kevin Reinholt’s Bike Accident

It was the story that swept not only the PBL insiders and teams, but the communities as well. It was a story of tragedy, courage and comedy which has hopefully led to certain precautions being taken in the future. 

The following is the original story;

Article Date: June 1, 2009

Kevin Reinholt Lands on DL After Horrific Bicycle Crash

Rebels bench coach, and 2B, Kevin Reinholt has been placed on the 60 DL after a bicycle riding incident at the Tofield Sodbuster Rodeo on Saturday night that resulted in a broken collar bone. 

The night started out with great anticipation for the evenings festivities as Gord Bamford was set to perform at the Rodeo. On his dad's bike, Kevin decided to lay some sweet patch alongside friend and lead singer of the Tofield Troubadours, Brent Bigney. Apparently he lost control when the back tire collapsed and went for a tumble. Rebels 2B Kyle Reinholt pointed out that the back tire looked like "someone took a torch to the tire rim" it was bent so bad. Rebels catcher/long time firefighter, Jon Lehman sprung into action when he got the call. Lehman rushed over to the Reinholt household where he performed a strong sternum rub on Kevin who was passed out in the recliner. "I didn't know if he was drunk, in shock or hit his head, but there was not response" says Lehman. 

Upon arriving at the hospital the medical staff placed Reinholt in a spine board not knowing the extent of his injury. Kevin's dad, Ted Reinholt was unimpressed when he arrived at the hospital to learn that the injury was not as serious as originally thought, as he too was missing the Gord Bamford concert. "He's lucky he's in that spine board or I'd slap him" said Ted "Well he's not gonna make me miss Gord Bamford."  The sentiment was shared by Rebels RF Travis Jones "I'm not letting Kevin ruin my night."

In any way you look at it the Rebels are beginning to feel the grind of both on field play, and the pressures of being an athlete in a small town.

“It was like the story was somewhat of a catalyst for the team” said website administrator Kris Kushnerick. “Traffic skyrocketed on the site and people who have no real connection to with the Rebels began regularly visiting the site”. It was also evident at the tournaments the Rebels attended that the story had spread far and wide. 

The story also led to a follow up story regarding how athletes and bikes (in the other athlete’s cases it is motorbikes or snowmobiles, not pedal bikes) don’t necessarily mix. “It was creepy how the similarities between Jeff Kent’s motorcycle accident and Kevin’s pedal bike accident emerged as the story was coming together” said Kushnerick, especially the Giants General Manager Brian Sabean’s about Kent’s incident. He almost described Kevin and his accident to a tee.

“This is a great lesson for him and a great lesson for baseball. There’s a difference between partaking in whatever your fun is and being careless. Am I surprised by the information that’s presenting itself about a bike accident? No. Do I think it’s prudent and smart? No. I think it’s careless. But I also know what kind of life he leads, which is very workmanlike, old-fashioned style. I’m sure he’s been in situations that nobody knows about that are far more precarious and even more dangerous than falling off a bike. I’m sure that he’s fallen off his bike before.” – Brian Sabean, Giants GM, 

It would also be an incident that will never leave Reinholt as it will more then likely be mentioned anytime Reinholt; looks at a bike, says the word bike, or complains of an injury. Reinholt also made the story great because of his sense of humor and ability to laugh it off and take it in stride. 

#1 – Opening Day for the Rebels 

May 13th 2009

Ryley Rebels @ Leduc Milleteers

The feeling of the Ryley Rebels being back in the Powerline Baseball League after a 7 year hiatus was the best moment for the Rebels in 2009. Plus the game was also one of the PBL’s best defensive games of 2009. It was the first game for the Rebels franchise since 2002 when the Rebels went 7-6-2 before bowing out to the Ryley Brewers in the playoffs. 

The Rebels gave the opening day duties to RHP Dylan Solberg, a Ryley native and opposing him was veteran RHP Scott Peterson for the Leduc Milleteers. Both pitchers did not disappoint. Solberg threw a complete game 7 hitter for the Rebels striking out 9, walking none, and surrendering 2 runs, 1 earned in the loss. Peterson was slightly more dazzling on the bump as he recorded 8 strikeouts, no walks and only 2 hits surrendered. 

Offensively the Rebels were rebooted in 2009 by OF Corey Epp. As Bob Uecker once said with reference to the Cleveland Indians and Willie Mays Hayes leading off the campaign in Major League, “You can always tell how a season is going to go by the first batter”. Epp was able to scorch a bloop single in the first at bat by the Rebels since 2002. The only other hit the Rebels were able to muster against Peterson came 2 batters later in the form of a Dylan Solberg double to the gap, Epp however was unable to score and Peterson no-hit the Rebels the rest of the way. The Milleteers were able to score both runs on a 2 out single in the 3rd inning to sink the Rebels. The Rebels would go on to finish 2-7 against the Milleteers in 2009, including going 0-2 in the playoffs and being swept out of the first round. 

The line up that day included, Dylan Solberg, Corey Epp, Tyler Hansen, Jon Lehman, Shane Metrunec, Kyle Reinholt, Kevin Reinholt, Matt Starky, Travis Bugge, Bryan Toles, and Travis Jones. Missing from the opening day line up was, Curt Stensrud, Dustin Solberg, Josh Lyons, Kris Kushnerick, Justin Smith and Brian Tavaroli. 

The 2009 Ryley Rebels included former Ryley Rebels from 7 years ago. Dustin Solberg, Travis Bugge, Kris Kushnerick, Josh Lyons and Shane Metrunec all suited up for the Rebels in the old red pinstriped jerseys of the 90’s and early 2000’s. After the folding of the first Rebels team in 2002, Kushnerick went on to play with the Lamont/Ardrossan Steelers, Armena and Camrose Axemen, Dustin Solberg played with the Armena and Camrose Axmen, Josh Lyons went to the Lamont Steelers then to the Ryley Brewers, while Shane Metrunec and Travis Bugge took a step back from baseball. 

The former Rebels were joined by a group of players who had PBL experience with other teams; 

C – Bryan Toles (Tofield Lakers, Lamont Steelers, Armena Axemen)

SS/P – Dylan Solberg (Ryley Brewers)

C – Matt Starky (Bardo Athletics)

2B/DH – Kyle Reinholt (Bardo Athletics)

UT – Kevin Reinholt (Bardo Athletics)

OF/P – Corey Epp (Tofield Lakers)

C – Jon Lehman (Ryley Brewers)

OF – Tyler Hansen (Ryley Brewers)

P – Curtis Stensrud (Camrose Roadrunners, Armena Axemen)

P – Darcy Granberg (Ryley Brewers)

The 2009 Rebels roster was primarily made up of players from the Bruce-Holden-Ryley-Tofield area with only 3 players not from the area. 

Opening Day’s significance could also be felt in the community as the Rebels look to broaden their involvement in Ryley. General Manager Corey Epp’s thoughts for the future partnership with the community; “Hopefully the young kids will see the fun we are having and want to play ball too so that Ryley will have a team after we get too old to play” said Epp.  “It would be awesome if Ryley could manage to get some minor ball started again too, I remember they used to always have 2 baseball teams when I played minor ball in Tofield and the diamonds where always being used for minor ball and fastball.  Baseball seems to be growing again so it could be a possibility, maybe once we get all set up and established we can work with the town and school to try and bring minor ball back.  Like Keanu Reeves in Hardball.” With most Rebels who grew up in Ryley or the surrounding are, looking up to guys who were playing ball in the community like, Ray Lehman, Brian Lyons, Donny and Ronnie Oslund, Brent Beattie and Milt Malik is what gave them the interest in baseball to begin with. Hopefully they can return the favor. 

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