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PURSUIT: Newmarket Titans fostering big league dreams

Newmarket is quickly becoming a hub for some of the top baseball players in the province and the country

Newmarket is quickly becoming a hub for some of the top baseball players in the province and the country. 

The evidence can be found right in your own backyard, with one organization in particular proving that they are titans of the sport both on and off the field. 

The Titans Baseball Club is a high-performance team with established roots in York and Simcoe regions that aims to help young baseball enthusiasts fulfil their dreams of playing higher levels of baseball. The club plays in the Canadian Premier Baseball League (CPBL), which is the top amateur league in the province and arguably the best in the country. 

Jim Stewart, communications co-ordinator for the Titans, believes that the resources in place through the program make Titans the best option for athletes hoping to play pro ball. 

“We are in the CPBL, so we are one of the top 11 franchises in the country, technically. And we do have a coaching staff that has been through the U.S. college experience so all of our head coaches are U.S. college grads,” Stewart added. 

The club consistently places athletes at American schools, including 13 during their most recent college trip last fall. They expect the remainder of their eligible players interested in playing south of the border to secure scholarships over the next few months. 

However, advancing athletes to the big leagues is not the sole purpose of Titans baseball. In addition to building a winning culture, Stewart and the Titans staff also drive home the importance of strong academics and encourage their players to shoot for the honour roll. 

“We always refer to our players as student athletes. Our coaches do it, our management does it. We do mean that when we say that we are producing student athletes with Titans. We do want our students to go down into the United States and play baseball but even more importantly, as we know what the odds are of making professional baseball, we want them to come home with a diploma and/or a degree so they carry something back across the border with them.”

The organization understands it is not only accountable for results on the field but also in the classroom. This is especially true now that more and more U.S. colleges are expecting strong SAT scores to qualify for scholarships. If athletes are slacking in their academics, they risk missing out on college offers regardless of their talent. 

“If you’re asking me what our ultimate goal is, sure we want to win in the CPBL but ultimately we want to place our graduating players in optimal post-secondary destinations,” Stewart added. 

Two of their student athletes, Nolan Thomson and Cameron Byers, are Newmarket natives who have reaped the rewards of Titans baseball. Both players have committed to U.S. colleges, with Thomson heading to the Division 1 Rend Lake Warriors and Byers to the Division 2 Glenville State Pioneers.

They are hoping to earn starting roles at their new schools this fall but first have their minds set on winning a championship with the Titans 18U team this summer. 

“Both of us have been here since pretty much day one, so we’ve seen all the ups and downs and it’s been a big part of where I am and where we both are today,” said Thomson on his time with the Titans, “just nothing but good things to say about the organization.”

The Titans club has grown from a few expansion franchises to five teams ranging from 14U to 18U. With every new season comes higher expectations for the various squads and now that the Titans have established themselves in the CPBL, the desire to win is ramping up. 

“It’s very competitive, considering that we’re one of the lower teams in the CPBL, but we’re trying to be a lot better, a lot higher. The competitiveness we have here is very high,” said Byers. 

At the end of the day, regardless of wins, Titans is a family for its young players and to graduate from the program is like leaving home, he said. If players put in the effort with the team, success is but a swing away.