Kamloops NorthPaws' head coach Armstrong to don Maple Leaf

Kamloops NorthPaws’ head coach Cole Armstrong has been named to the staff of the under-18 Canadian baseball team.

The Surrey product will join longtime junior national team head coach Greg Hamilton’s staff for a training camp in Ontario, from Aug. 18 to Sept. 1, before travelling to Florida for a seven-game Friendship Series against the U.S.

“I’m really honoured and excited for another opportunity to represent my country,” Armstrong, a former national team catcher, said in a NorthPaws’ press release.

“I think it will also greatly benefit the NorthPaws. We were excited to have former junior national team members signed to play with us this summer and now I’ll be able to build relationships with the best up-and-coming players in Canada.”

Kamloops was slated to join the West Coast League baseball ranks this summer, but the circuit’s five Canadian teams withdrew amid the pandemic, with limitations on gathering sizes and border crossings too much to overcome.

All five teams are aiming to play in 2022, including the expansion NorthPaws, Edmonton Riverhawks and Nanaimo NightOwls. The Victoria HarbourCats and Kelowna Falcons round out the Canadian contingent.

The Friendship Series will take place in lieu of the postponed 2021 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup, which was to run in September before being shifted to 2022 due to pandemic-related concerns.

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