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Sheffield Kodiaks: A Team Like No Other

Sheffield Bruins Baseball Club

3 Jun 2024

The Sheffield Kodiaks AAA Baseball team has played 6 games and lost 6 games so far this season but that's not necessarily a bad thing…

This team is full of opportunities with 3 under 18's, of which 2 of those are under 15, having massive roles on this team being starting pitchers and filling in utility leadership positions even at Catcher, Short Stop and Center Field. The Kodiaks also consist of many of the hard hitting, hot fielding and very talented Sheffield Women's team who also play important roles with the AAA Kodiaks Baseball Team. Then there are mix of old timer men veteran players mixed with youngish rookie ball players that have been working hard to understand and play this great game in many different positions week in week out not only in games but at our weekly training sessions to gain the skills and learn what it takes to be great ball players on and off the field.

This has created a very diverse and dynamic group of players that have had to play multiple positions to find out where everyone is best suited. We were unable to play any pre season/spring training games so really these first 6 games have been all about adjustments while still trying to compete at the high level that is AAA baseball. What we all know for certain is that this team has tremendous talent, a fighting spirit and a determination to improve and be successful.

Shan Henry, the Kodiaks Coach stated "What I find really neat is that we could incorporate the co-ed slow pitch softball lineup rules where it is mandatory to have a female hit after every male batter and still be very competitive in the AAA Baseball division that is dominated mostly by adult men, which I believe is something to be celebrated. The Kodiaks are a team of diversity with 5 women, 3 under 18's and 7 adult men. With that much diversity it was always going to take time to find ourselves and gel as a team."

In Sunday's games there were a lot of signs of that togetherness showing and shining through. Finding our roles as players, coaches, managers and teammates is important and so 6 games have simply been 6 opportunities for that to happen which is the most important thing for a team like this coming together for the first time.. Both starting pitchers for the Kodiaks in Sunday's game were two British born youngsters Zebb Marshall (game 1) and Jacob Henry (game 2). Both of them played alongside each other for Team GB in the under 12's European Championship Qualifiers in 2022 where they both travelled together as a team to Austria, finishing in 1st place. They are both now part of the under 15's GB program where they are hoping to make the final roster again this year to represent their home country next month as Team GB will be taking part in this years under 15's European Championship Qualifiers in Lithuania.

As the Kodiaks manager Shan stated "it is a pleasure to provide these 2 young British Baseball Players the opportunity to play this great game as much as possible and we all recognise how important every pitch and every at bat represents their future success rather it be with team GB or any other elite level teams they try out for. One of the most encouraging things that I see as a coach/manager and a player is how much everyone encourages everyone else not only on the team but the entire league in general. We are all rooting and supporting each player who plays British Baseball and that really is a beautiful thing! All players are welcoming and all players are enthusiastic about lifting each other up which is the hallmark of having a great team and a great community no matter what the scores are at the end of the day. And for the Kodiaks when they find their rhythm and they will very soon they will be an unstoppable force no doubt about it!"

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