SURREY — Stepping into the stadium at Whalley Athletic Park as the sun starts to fall, you hear the sounds of leather meeting the stitched edge of a hardball and you know it’s time for baseball.
The Whalley Chiefs aren’t exactly off to a great start and it’s not exactly the season anyone would hope for with a BCPBL worst record of 2-11 – but the team is just looking forward to the little wins.
Chiefs manager and head coach Steve Chatzispiros, known to the kids as ‘Coach Chatz,’ said every out and every at-bat is a learning experience.
“Right now this is a rebuilding process for us,” he said. “We know what this is, we have some really great young kids here and the future is bright.”
While the Chiefs do have a few Grade 12 players to help gather a few wins as the season goes on, Coach Chatz isn’t as worried about the wins and losses as much as just having these young men learn and grow.
|With a solid young core, there’s no reason to believe the Chiefs won’t continue to improve.
(Photo: Ryan-Alexander McLeod)
“I want to compete. I don’t expect us to win every game. You look at the schedule and in the first 11 games we played the top five teams in the league,” said Chatzispiros. “For the most part we have competed and we will always look to compete hard no matter who we play.
“I want these boys to know they left it all on the field, win or lose.”
Chatzispiros knows better than anyone what it will take to build up the Chiefs. Back in 2015, Coach Chatz took the Junior Chiefs all the way to a championship.
While it’s different at this level and against bigger stronger competition, the Chiefs still take the field with passion, optimism and hope. Every at-bat, every throw from Grade 11 pitcher Yuta Hashiguchi, every inning the Chiefs take to the field, they do it with everything they’ve got.
When they don’t score a run you can see the frustration, but when it goes right, it’s every man on deck, ready with high fives.
“Everyone loves winning, everyone hates losing, but we have to just keep a short memory and keep moving towards the next at-bat,” said Coach Chatz.
“I just want us to wear this Chiefs jersey with class, go out with everything we’ve got, max effort every day and build for the future.”