Off-season news about the Ottawa Champions is coming fast and furious as the Can-Am League team sets up its run at a championship while providing a whole lot of fun at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (RCGT) Park in 2016.
This week the Champions re-signed infielder Albert Cartwright to a contract for the 2016 season. Cartwright hit a team best .304 from the lead-off spot in 2015 and clubbed two home runs and drove in 18 for the ball club. He came aboard in late June with Ottawa and while the native of the Bahamas was a solid threat at the plate, it was after he shifted from third base to second in the field that the team received added value.
“Albert did a good job in the lead-off spot, he hit a lot of doubles and stole a lot of bases,” said Champions manager Hal Lanier. “And once we moved him to second base, he really shored things up on the infield.”
Joining Cartwright in making a return appearance to Canada’s capital city is right-handed starting pitcher Wilmer Font, who re-signed for the 2016 season on Jan. 19. Font got over early-season struggles last year to post a 10-4 record with a 4.09 ERA in 21 appearances (20 starts). The native of Venezuela fanned 81 hitters during his 116.2 innings or work.
Making his debut with the club in 2016 will be right-handed relief pitcher Nate Striz. He was signed Jan. 12 and last pitched in 2014 in the Colorado Rockies organization when he tossed from the bump for Single A Modesto and Double A Tulsa. In 45 relief appearances, Striz put together a 3-2 record with a 5.43 ERA.
Meanwhile, the club’s entertainment team will be holding two tryout sessions on Feb. 27th at RCGT Park for the new Ottawa Champions dance team. The first begins at 9:30 a.m. and the second starts at 1 p.m. Candidates must be at least 18 years of age and it’s recommended that they have some cheer or dance experience, or done promotion work in the past. There will be a $25 charge to try out for the team. Those interested in trying out for the Ottawa Champions Dance Team are invited to e-mail co-ordinator Brittany Spearns at email@example.com to book a spot.
The Champions open their regular season at home against the New Jersey Jackals on May 19 at 7:05 p.m. The game will lift the lid on a five game series that will take the clubs through the Victoria Day holiday on May 23. Visit www.ottawachampions.com/schedule/ to see the full schedule, then call 613.745.2255 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to book season tickets and flex packs for the 2016 season.