The Laurier Men’s Baseball program closed out the 2006 season with its first ever Laurier Baseball Recognition Banquet. The event was held at the Senate Board and Chamber at Wilfrid Laurier University on Sunday December 3, 2006. In attendance were current members of the 2006 team, along with family members and friends. Also in attendance were former members of the Baseball program, as five Baseball Alumni came out to show their support for the program. In total, the event was well attended with over 70 people.
Current Assistant Coach and former player, Bob Elliot
t, did a wonderful job as Master of Ceremonies for the event. The program kicked off with a presentation to the fourth and fifth year athletes. Assistant Coach, Don Pickett
, presented the eight graduating athletes with a photo plaque of themselves. The graduating year athletes included: Jordan Bilkas
, John Jurgaitis
, Pat Kropf
, Pete Molloy
, David Onyett-Jeffries
, Blair Ryan
, Rob Thompson and Jordan Wittig
Next up was a presentation to the OUA All-Stars. 2006 marked the most successful year for Laurier in terms of All-Star representation. Laurier fielded five All-Stars in total in 2006, 4 on the First Team and 1 on the Second Team. Receiving First Team recognition were: 3rd Base Scott Mahn
, 1st 1Base Curtis Young
, Shortstop Pat Kropf
and Relief Pitcher Rob Thompson. Catcher, Chris Pittaway
was selected to the Second Team. The athletes were presented with a gift from the OUA and will also receive a commemorative WLU Baseball mini-helmet for their achievement.
After a delicious meal supplied by Laurier Catering services, Head Coach Paul Reidel
presented the Major Award winners for 2006. Jon Roth
was selected as the Most Dedicated Player for his tireless efforts throughout the whole season. Chris Pittaway
received the Most Improved Player Award after a breakout season behind the plate. The Rookie Pitcher of the Year went to Brad Binns
after a very successful rookie season on the hill for the Golden Hawks. Blair Ryan
took home Rookie Player of the Year honours after spending 4 years on the football team at Laurier. Tim Lawrence
solidified himself amongst the OUA’s elite pitchers in 2006 and took home Most Valuable Pitcher honours. To no one’s surprise, SS Pat Kropf
was selected as Most Valuable Position Player for 2006 after putting together another phenomenal season both at the plate and in the field.
Athletic Director, PETER BAXTER
, then made a special presentation to retiring Head Coach Paul Reidel
. Earlier in the season, Coach Reidel made it known that this would be his last year as Head Baseball Coach at Wilfrid Laurier. After joining the program in 2001, Paul has served as a great mentor and friend to all athletes that have played for him. Peter presented Paul with a painting on behalf of the team and a Life Time Pass to all Golden Hawk Sporting Events on behalf of the Athletic Department. The painting depicted a scene from back in 2003 with Paul and his late brother, Moe Reidel, surveying the situation from the top step of the dugout in a game against cross-town rival, the University of Waterloo.
The guest of honour for the evening was Gary Jeffries
, Head Coach and Director of Football Operations of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawk Football program. Coach Jeffries spoke about his experiences over the years in dealing with the ups and downs of putting together a successful program, while ultimately culminated with a Vanier Cup Championship in 2005. His message to the team was clear and each player took home some valuable words of advice.
A silent auction with many wonderful items took place all night and a raffle for two Maple Leaf tickets was also a part of the evening’s event. A special thanks to all who donated items for the auction. The home ‘white’ jerseys were also auctioned off to the highest bidder in an effort to raise money to purchase a new set for the 2007 season. The event was a rousing success and the team would like to thank Amy Roefs
, fiance of coach Scott Ballantyne
, for all her efforts in putting on such a tremendous event. This event closed the book on the 2006 and opened the next chapter in Laurier Baseball. 2007 is shaping up to be the most successful season in the history of the program.