Vauxhall grad heads south
By Brian Oliver
Rust shouldn’t be a factor when Connor Green takes to the mound next month to begin his collegiate baseball career.
The Portage la Prairie native and recent graduate of the esteemed Vauxhall Academy of Baseball in Vauxhall, Alta., – where Green spent the past two years honing his skills – accepted an offer to Pratt Community College (PCC) to further his career.
“(Scouts from) Pratt came out to see me pitch when I was out in Vauxhall and I went to tournaments in the States and they’ve seen me there,” said Green – who upon graduation, returned to Portage and has played locally with the Portage Pirates (AA), Pembina Hills (AAA) and even had a stint with the Pembina Valley Orioles (Manitoba Junior Baseball League). “I’m really excited about going there. It’s definitely going to be different obviously, but I’m pretty open-minded to it.”
Green, now 18-years-old, first picked up the sport at the age of five but only made the switch to full time pitcher when he arrived at Vauxhall as a 16-year-old. He began working locally with Gord Selinger and Andy Boehm of Selinger Boehm Baseball Services to prepare for the academy, but really credits the tutelage of the Vauxhall coaching staff, led by Les McTavish, to getting him to where he is today.
“I absolutely loved my time at Vauxhall, it was great. Les McTavish, Joel Blake and Jim Kotkas were the three coaches there and they’re unbelievably. It was an experience to remember that’s for sure,” added Green. “McTavish and the Vauxhall program made me a better person and a better player.”
At 6-foot-3, 200 lbs., Green’s frame is imposing enough at just 60 feet, 6 inches away. Throw in a fastball that clocks in the high 80’s mph, and a pair of offspeed pitches in his changeup and curveball, the Portager is certain to leave hitters in the National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) Division 1 scratching their heads.
Green returned to Portage this summer where he rejoined old friends and mentor Shane Moffatt and the Portage Pirates for their provincial run and helped pave the way to Kamloops, B.C., for next month’s Western Canadian Baseball Championship. Unfortunately, the Portage’s commitments with PCC have him shipping out early to join his future teammates in Pratt. Kansas for Aug. 23 and the start of the upcoming season. Fortunately for Green, combine his season at Vauxhall with his current summer regime of baseball nearly every day, and he shouldn’t have any issues finding the strike zone come opening day.