At 14 years old, Kadon Murray is heading to the 2017 15U Boys Ray Carter Cup, Baseball Canada’s 15U Boys National Championships Aug. 24-27 in Summerside, P.E.I.
Kadon and the all-star Team NL will be taking on teams from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.
“It was exciting that I knew I was playing with the older kids,” he said.
Kadon was the only player chosen for the team from central Newfoundland after a tryout process that began in Grand Falls-Windsor, and ended on the east coast.
Before heading off to P.E.I., he has weekend practices on the east coast the third week in July, and again the second week of August. The team will then travel to the championship, which Kadon knows will be a great experience for him.
“I hope to improve,” the teen said, adding he also hopes to build friendships. “A lot of the people on the team are from St. John’s and when I’m on a team with them I want to be buddies with them. I know a lot of people. We went from Play On and everyone I seen I knew because I’m involved in hockey and baseball. That’s the best part about it is the friendships.”
Hitting the ball is another of his favourite parts of the sport.
“There’s a technique and not everyone can do it and when you get it right you hit the ball hard and I love that,” Kadon said. “Usually for me when I hit the ball everyone is amazed how hard I hit the ball and that’s fun. Pitching is fun too because you are in control of the game. When you stop everyone stops, when the ball is pitched that’s when the game starts.”
Playing in the Grand Falls-Windsor Minor Baseball Association since the age of four, Kadon has had much success, playing Summer Games 16 and under at the age of 13 last year, and even being picked up for a St. John’s team to play a national Atlantic tournament where they earned bronze and Murray won an award for most offensive player.
“That was his first experience playing with the older kids, and he didn’t want to go,” his dad Donnie Murray said. “He said, ‘Dad I’m not good enough to go.’ I said, ‘If you weren’t good enough they wouldn’t’ have asked you.’”
Kadon noted, “Everyone looked at me, they didn’t know how old I was, but when they heard my age it was surprising because I kept up with the other kids. It was awesome to know that I was just as good as older kids.”
Going on tournaments on his own is a great experience for him, especially since this time next year he could be living in Alberta.
At 13, Kadon was asked to attend an 18U tryout. While there, his dad said, he was told there was a guy in Okotoks, Alberta who would like to have Kadon go to school and play with the Okotoks Dawgs Baseball Club.
“That was surprising for a kid my age,” Kadon said.
In May, they viewed the facility in Okotoks, and Kadon, a first year Bantam player, was included on different teams during a tournament.
“The facility is unreal,” Donnie said. “It’s like a mini major leagues.”
Kadon will complete Grade 9 in Grand Falls-Windsor, and in June, if all goes well, will be moving to Alberta.
“He will be going for Grade 10 and playing with the midgets,” Donnie said, adding Midget level begins at Grade 11. “It’s a great opportunity.”
With baseball 10 months a year and a dozen coaches to learn from, he can excel. And with scouts there often, a university scholarship is possible as well.
Kadon said he’s looking forward to it, however, he knows it won’t be easy.
“I’m really nervous,” he said. “Being alone up there is going to be hard.”