SportsLife 2015, issue 3 - Page 10

Wind Ups – Team Building School Groups – Corporate Outings Family Outings – Parties OUTDOOR 10 Acre Corn Maze with Scavenger Hunt New Corn Cannon Target Shooting Go-Carts Human Foosball! Hay Rides Play Parks Animals Pumpkin Patch Bush-trail And so much more to discover.... INDOOR The Black Hole Maze 9 Hole Mini Golf Foosball Tables Air-Hockey Arcade Style Competition Shoot-out Games An actual Olympic Hockey Net FOR THE YOUNGER KIDS Battery Operated Quads Mini Maze TEPEE Bouncers VILLAGE Kids Village Fire pits and BBQs are available to rent DIRECTIONS Only 1/2 hr from South Perim. Follow Hwy 59 South, turn left on Hwy 52 toward Steinbach then Right on Blatz Rd. CALL (204) 346-4160 or (204) 377-4686 VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT steinbachcornmazeandadventures 10 / sportslife Ebb & Flow Star Earns Spot on Team Manitoba By Scott Taylor, Photos by Jeff Miller Brandon Racette can throw his fastball better than 80-miles-per-hour. Not bad for a young man who just turned 16. It’s also not bad for a teenager who throws six different pitches and is working on three others. Fact is, it would be hard to find a kid in Manitoba so enamored with baseball, so in love with the game, that he plays on three teams and has recently been named a starting pitcher for Baseball Manitoba’s U-16 provincial team. For Brandon Racette, baseball is pretty much everything. “I grew up in Ebb & Flow First Nation and lived there for eight years and then moved to Dauphin and lived there three years and started baseball there,” Racette explained. “My coach there, Jeff Hlady, was a good ballplayer and he taught me lots of stuff. “I just fell in love with baseball as soon as I picked up the ball for the first time. It just came natural for me to pitch.” And pitch he does. Team Manitoba head coach Brian Ezako is thrilled that Racette finds a way to drive to Winnipeg from Ebb & Flow for both games and practices. After all, Ezako is trying to put the best possible team on the field because his U-16 team will be Manitoba’s 2015 Western Canada Summer Games representative. “When he first came out for the team, he was a quiet, shy young man,” said Ezako with a smile. “Coming out now with a group of players from all over Manitoba, it’s been quite an eyeopener for him and he’s just grabbed the opportunity and learned so much in such a short time. “That’s the type of kid we just love to have on this team. He’s a kid with eagerness and willingness to learn. When he’s out on the mound, he’s got so much confidence and that’s what we want from these kids: Go out there and play with confidence in your skills and the talent you bring to the ballpark. “Sure, It’s been a big learning curve for Brandon, but he’s learned so much since we first got him last September to now, it’s been wonderful to have him as part of this group.” Racette, who just turned 16, is finishing Grade 9 at Ebb & Flow School. Still, he never misses practices and he definitely never misses a game. “Me and my dad and my siblings drive into Winnipeg for all of these Team ‘Toba games,” he said, “but we do have family in Winnipeg so we’re not paying money for hotels.” Of course, his family – his biggest group of supporters – drive him all over the province to play. When you’re part of four teams, there are a lot of road games. “I started playing with the (Ebb & Flow) Lakers (of the Santa Clara League) this year and I‘m easily the youngest guy on the team,” he said with a laugh. “I love playing with those guys, they’re crazy and a lot of fun to be around. They’re a fun group of guys. “But I also play with a Dauphin team and then a Triple A team, Parkland, and then with Team ‘Toba. So I’m playing for four teams this summer and I just love it.” As Ezako says, he wants confident players who bring their skills to the field for every game – and aren’t afraid to use them. “I have no fear,” Racette said. “I am always confident that I’m going to throw my strikes. I also play outfield, when I have to, but my batting isn’t too good. My pitching is really good and Team Manitoba’s coaches wanted me for my pitching so I’m here. “My fastball is in the low 80s. My favourite part of baseball is striking