Baseball season is in full swing at Lillooet Secondary School where the sport has gained major popularity among the students.
Coordinator Aaron Jezovit said that the whole endeavour started a year ago when student Roger Narcisse asked Jezovit to start a baseball team. At that time, Jezovit was hesitant because he didn’t think they could get enough players. At that point, Jezovit says Narcisse went on a mission to find more people to play.
Fast forward to this spring and Narcisse had 10 students who wanted to play baseball; with enough players for a team, Jezovit approached Vice Principal Dave Remple. After looking into the local leagues, Jezovit and Remple were a bit discouraged sinc they really didn’t have the numbers needed to participate and the season had already started.
However, Jezovit didn’t want to disappoint those who had signed up so he decided to do some practices with the 10 who were interested. That’s when everything changed and word started to get around the school that baseball was happening. Jezovit says he quickly went from 20 students who had asked to join the team to 58 students officially signed up.
With such enthusiasm, Jezovit went back to Remple and they crafted a plan for an intramural lunchtime league with extra time added on to Wednesday lunches for the sport.
Jezovit says he was surprised by the huge interest in baseball, so he along with fellow teacher Jody Lane gathered equipment and organized a round robin.
“We picked eight team captains, they were split into four teams, and we had a draft of all the students who signed up. By the end of the draft, we had four teams of 16 players,” Jezovit told the News.
To date, they have played five games and the round robin concludes today, June 6. Currently, Jezovit is organizing a tournament.
“The best part of the whole experience is how it has brought the majority of the school together” Jezovit said. “During one lunch break we have about 20 to 25 students on the diamond, and another 30 or so watching. That’s a quarter of the school willing to participate and/or watch baseball.”
With such a great interest and participation in the sport, Jezovit has been receiving praise from the students. “It’s amazing to me. A lot of the kids - even those who don’t play, come up to me and say things like, ‘Thank you Mr. J, that was a great idea to do this. I don’t like baseball, but I think it’s good for the school.”
However, he is not willing to take the credit and says he replies, “Don’t thank me, thank Roger, he was the one who suggested it and got the whole thing started. It was his idea and passion that led this.”
Editor’s Note: Aaron Jezovit is the husband of our reporter Holly Jezovit.