For the first time in program history the Missoula Mavs have a B squad. It's made up of 13-15 year olds and started because of two main reasons; it's cheaper than travel ball and gets kids familiar with the program at an early age.
"You know we had a lot of parents asking if this would be something we would be interested in and after thinking about it it's just another way we can get kids feeding into the A and AA level," said AA Manager Brent Hathaway.
For those kids wanting to one day play for the AA Mavs, the B team is a perfect way to get prepared for that.
"You know when you first start in Little League you have all these skills but when you get here and you get the advice from all these former players and coaches they're all going to give you advice and build you as a player and it's going to get you better so next year you can be a lot more confident in your abilities to play," said Shortstop Jaeren Graham.
"Just figured I would get out here and play some baseball so I could get on A next year and it's a good experience and we have young coaches that know the game pretty well so it's fun," said Second Baseman Danny McKittrick.
Former Mav players from last year are coaching the team. Tres Cunningham is the head coach while Alec Bouchee and Tanner Maier are assisting.
"We have all been through the program so we know how we are supposed to make them act and how their supposed to go about things so I think that gives them a good basis for how to start and they will grow older and succeed hopefully," said Cunningham.
The B squad has been practicing for the last couple months and they play a condensed schedule of about 30 games with a year end tournament.
"Yea I'm really excited I have never played these many games so it's going to be exciting to be able to travel around and play," said Graham.
"Yea I think this first year is the kids getting an understanding of how to play baseball, working on the fundamental things instead of the winning and losing we obviously want to win but I think the bigger picture is understanding the game and getting better everyday," said Bouchee.