The Kelowna Sun Devils 2018 team. (Jeff Bligh - Contributor)

Kelowna Sun Devils swing into new prep league after dominate seasons

The u18 Sun Devils are coming off back to back league championships

The Kelowna Sun Devils baseball team may play in a new league with a new coach in 2019, but it’ll be business as usual for the 2018 league champions once the season starts in April.

After having two very successful seasons, the Sun Devils are moving into the u18 College Prep League.

The Sun Devils are 65-10 in the last two seasons, won the provincial title in 2017, won the league championships in 2017 and 2018, and won the BC Baseball 2018 Team of the Year award.

Assistant coach Jeff Bligh knows there will be challenges for the Sun Devils as they move up to a higher level.

“Our competition is going to be stiffer than in the previous two years, but we’ve been working all winter and fall on this program to move ourselves into a good spot,” said Bligh.

READ MORE: Kelowna Sun Devils tested in first exhibition battle of season

New head coach Derek McPherson will be taking over from Rob Law, who started the Sun Devils program and developed the team into one of the best in B.C.

READ MORE: Two golf courses in the Shuswap voted among best in B.C.

During their impressive two-year run, the Sun Devils have seen the community support steadily grow as more people in the Okanagan embrace and pay attention to the local baseball scene.

“Two years ago when we hosted the provincials, and won it, there was probably an excess of 250 people watching at the ballpark,” said Bligh.

“Our high performance programs, filter right down to peewee, so we have (peewee) kids looking up to (the Sun Devils) and saying, ‘I want to be on that team one day.’ So, really good support.”

The Sun Devils 2019 roster will have seven players in Grade 12, eight from Grade 11, and three from Grade 10.

As the spring and summer approach, more and more baseball will be being played in the Central Okanagan, and with the Sun Devils coming into a newer and tougher league, the level of competition will be that much better for fans of the game.

READ MORE: Okanagan Premier League wraps inaugural season

READ MORE: West Kelowna park reopens

“Baseball’s strong in this city, and I’ve noticed the participation in the sport (growing). We have the local college Coyotes, the Okanagan Athletics, and seeing the growth is pretty incredible,” said Bligh.

The Sun Devils start their season in the first week of April in Cloverdale, and will play their first home series April 20 and 21 at the Edith Gay Park.

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