Hey Bengals Family,
As mentioned in the ‘Message from the President
’ article on
February 13th, we have some exciting developments this year with the
OHMBA. One of those developments is the introduction of our Player Development
Committee, which will be focused on providing support to our players and
coaches. They’ll be putting together some fun and challenging practice plans
and clinics, and we wanted to take a moment to give you some background on each
of the PDC members.
Ian MacIver – Player Development Committee (Co-Chair)
Ian MacIver has lived in the Orangeville area for 18 years. Ian was born and raised in Brampton and played in the BMBI organization until 16 years old. At 16 Ian played for the Ontario Blue Jays, in what was the start of the Elite Baseball Programs in Ontario. At that time the Ontario Blue Jays were the only elite team in Ontario, and they played in a Connie Mack league in Michigan. The Ontario Blue Jays won their Michigan League and travelled to Farmington, New Mexico for the Connie Mack World Series.
Ian later played for the Ontario U18 team which won the Canadian Championships. After completing the youth baseball program, Ian started his college baseball career at Paris Junior College in Texas. After graduation from Junior College, Ian transferred to Charleston Southern University (CSU) in South Carolina. Ian played 2 years for the CSU Bucs before graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Computer science. Ian also played for 6 years in the Intercountry Baseball League (IBL) in Southern Ontario, one of Canada’s top-level amateur baseball leagues. He played 1 year for the Guelph Royals and 5 years for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Derek Gordon – Player Development Committee (Co-Chair)
Derek played his youth baseball as a member of the BMBI organization, as well as being a part of the Hamilton Thunderbirds, Richmond Hill Phoenix, and Team Ontario in the Elite Baseball Program. Upon graduating high school, Derek played US college baseball for Walsh University in Ohio, where he graduated with a BS in Physical Education.
Derek went on to complete his MS – Education of Sports Sciences at Akron University, before spending the 2011 season as Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Vancouver Canadians (the first year they were the short season ‘A’ affiliate for the Toronto Blue Jays). The C’s won the championship that year. Derek also played for the Mississauga Twins in the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL).
Mike Gareri – Player Development Committee
Like Ian and Derek, Mike grew up playing in the BMBI organization, playing at the Rep level as a Catcher / OF. As a member of the Brampton team, Mike won the Canadian National Championship, where he was named the Player of the Game for the championship game (as well as the semi-finals game). Mike was selected as a Central Ontario Baseball Association (COBA) Allstar and competed in the Cannon Cup.
After graduating high school, Mike attended Humber College where he continued to play baseball. He is currently still playing top division softball as a member of a travelling team in the ‘A’ circuit. Mike joined the Player Development Committee as he wants to assist young players in developing the love and skills required to play the game, fine tuning talent and discipline.
Ian Zettle – Player Development Committee
Ian’s baseball career started at the age of 10 in Orangeville (after playing softball from 3-9 in Alton). At the age of 13 he competed in his first Ontario Elimination tournament in Windsor. After his youth playing days came to an end, Ian went on to play for the Milton Redsox in the COBA Major/Senior AAA league starting in 2001, where he still plays, as a pitcher.
As a member of the Redsox, Ian was a part of the 2001 ‘D’, 2002 ‘C’, and 2005 ‘B’ Ontario Baseball Association (OBA) championship teams. The team also won the Tillsonburg Tournament in 2010 & 2011, as well as the COBA Major AAA League championship in 2007 and 2011. Ian is a six (6) time COBA Major Allstar, and he was inducted into to the COBA Major Hall of Fame in 2013. Ian joined the OHMBA Executive because he saw a great opportunity to help the OHMBA development program, and he knew the only way to help was to get involved.
Carson Burns – Player Development Committee
Carson played the first 5 years of his baseball career as a member of Orangeville Minor Baseball, before moving on to join the Elite Baseball Program as a member of the Ontario Nationals. In 2016, Carson was selected for the Canadian Premier Baseball League (CPBL) Allstar game.
Upon graduating high school, Caron received a scholarship to play at Western Texas College where he hit .372 with a .400 OBP as a freshman, leading to All-Conference Honours and playing in the all Texas Junior College AllStar game. Carson received a scholarship to continue playing baseball at the #2 ranked D2 school in the US, West Texas A&M. With his college playing days over, Carson continues to play in the Intercounty Baseball League as a member of the Barrie Baycats.