09/04/2017 9:55 PM -
The WMBL Communications Team had a chance to visit with Swift Current Manager Joe Carnahan to get his thoughts on winning back-to-back championships and what the upcoming 2018 season holds.
WMBL: You had a very solid team this season. What were the keys to your success?
Joe Carnahan: We were very fortunate to have a group of young men who have extremely high character and are very talented. We set out three goals for the players when they arrive,
1. We want them to leave a better player.
2. Have fun, enjoy your experience
3. Win some games.
These guys not only bought into striving to reach all three of these goals but they also became members of the community with all the genuine interaction they had throughout the city this year.
Any time you are fortunate to have a group of guys who enjoy each other and their summer experience then mix that with talent, they led the league in home runs, stolen bases and pitching, it's a pretty good recipe to give yourself a chance to be successful each night.
WMBL: Your playoff run included a come from behind series victory over Weyburn. Talk to me about the character of your team.
Joe Carnahan: These guys had the ability to truly focus on the present and focus on what they could control instead of results.
When things weren't going well or if they were going pretty good they would continue with their same daily approach of play the game hard, respect the game and play for each other.
Summer baseball has a lot of games in a short period of time and our playoffs go pretty deep into the summer, so the most important factor is there needs to be an environment where the guys will have fun, enjoy their experience and enjoy one another.
WMBL:How does it feel to win back to back championships in such a competitive league?
Joe Carnahan: It's very rewarding to see the excitement of the players and community. Our organization is community owned and solely based on volunteers, the work that the volunteers put in year round is remarkable.
To win the WMBL Championship back to back years and do it at home this year giving us the opportunity to celebrate with the players, volunteers, billets, fans and community was pretty special.
WMBL: Riley Campbell was the playoff MVP. What did he bring to the championship series?
Joe Carnahan: Riley was pretty dynamic for us throughout the year and elevated his level even more during the playoffs.
He plays the game extremely hard, plays for his teammates and will do anything he can to help his team win. He created havoc on the bases, hit a couple balls out of the yard and time after time came up with clutch hits. He definitely set the tone for us in the lead off spot.
WMBL: You have had time to enjoy your 2017 success what are your recruitment plans for 2018?
Joe Carnahan: The recruiting process never stops, it's a twelve month process.
We aren't going to get complacent with what we have done, we just keep working hard and moving forward to put together another exciting team for our city.
We look for high character, talented players who want to get better, have a fun experience and win.
We have quite a few players eligible to come back from this year's team, have some new faces that have indicated they want to come to Swift Current next summer and will continue to work to find players that will fit.