Almatois Raphaël Rangers’ passion for baseball took him across the country in the fall when he joined the Vauxhall Baseball Academy in Alta. The young man will be one of 14 rookies on the list, led by Les MacTavish, a Philadelphia Phillies scout and former Seattle Mariners recruiter.
The 16-year-old fell in love with his sport at the age of five. Like many young people, he studied, first in the series of Alma Minor Baseball, before continuing his progression to the regional programs Bantam AA and Midget AAA. Jeannois spent his second and final year with Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean dwarf AAA pioneers, and was at a crossroads in pursuit of his passion and studies.
“I started receiving offers from CEGEPs and colleges in Quebec, but there was no program that interested me,” admits the young man, who also wanted to improve English, an important element he will continue in the US sectors. “I sent videos to high schools in Alberta and Ontario, and two gave me news, including Vauxhall. “
The good news of his election fell on Tuesday. “I had a pleasant surprise when I returned from school. I did not expect an answer so soon, but more towards the end of the week, “said the one who wanted to carve out a place like a field or midfield field with the Vauxhall Jets.
And why did you choose this academy in southern Alberta? For the quality of the program and the prestige of the organizations. “The baseball level is much higher and the coaching staff is much hotter,” Raphaël Ranger said in a telephone interview. For example, head coach Les MacTavhish has been one of the 100 most influential Canadians in baseball since 2008. While in Ontario there was a new program that they are developing, and they are developing it. Was less interesting on the baseball side. “
Since he took the steps in January, the son of Jean-François Ranger and Milène Girard had to show himself through videos where he had to demonstrate his progress during the year, as an outside player and his power.
In this regard, the young man was keen to emphasize the helping hand given to him by his former dwarf AAA coach, Mathieu Dion, who facilitated communication with the academy director and called his case to the organization. Because the majority of recruited players come from the western country. This edition of the Alberta team has an Ontarian and two players from the Maritimes. Furthermore, it seems that Raphaël would be the third Quebecer who was only invited to join this two-year elite program since its inception.
“Mathieu ‘sold it very well’, and it was he who made us believe that anything was possible,” emphasizes Milène Girard. Mathieu Dion has in fact communicated with the director of the academy to claim that if the data of the young Almatois had not increased much since the autumn, it is partly because the restrictions associated with COVID have slowed down the progression players. In addition, he made sure that his former protégé could give more, and that he was not yet at his full potential.
Even if he is chosen, Raphaël Ranger expects the start of his adventure to be a bit difficult. “The first month can be a bit tough on the language side, and I think it will be scary because the pitchers are on the boat, but I will definitely get used to it pretty quickly. I hope to be able to develop and perform to have a permanent position, “said the man who hopes to receive offers from American colleges or universities when his two-year internship is over.
The oldest in the family of four people is determined to achieve the dream of going as far as possible in his sport, and will work hard to improve his stroke and work in the field.
Of course, the academy’s son practice is not cheap, but the bill includes everything, including tournaments in the United States. Parents are ready to bring this sacrifice to their children. “It’s fun to see them perform and follow their dreams like that. It’s not easy, but when you see that it complements them and that it makes them very happy, it also makes me happy, ”explains the mother, whose children thrive through baseball, football and music for the youngest.
Although Raphaël wants to be on the other end of the country, she is not very worried since all the academy’s services are gathered in one place (studies, accommodation, cafeteria, gym, etc.). The academy is located in a small community of 1600 souls. “It’s not that worrying, and he promised me one Facetime dinner a week,” Milène Girard concluded with a laugh.