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Laurentian welcomes coach Steve Donahue to the diamonds

Fresh off another summer of baseball with the Sudbury Voyageurs, Newfoundland native turned Sudburian Steve Donahue was ready to jump into his next challenge - and the Laurentian Voyageurs baseball team should provide just that.

Named as head coach less than a month before the start of the 2023 fall season, replacing L.U. alumnus Kirby Smith at the helm, Donahue had no chance to undertake a recruiting class for year one of his tenure.

Thankfully, a core of 17 returnees will allow for a starting point for the long-time baseball man who recognizes some changes as he makes the move from the U18 summer ranks.

"I think the differnce with these guys is that I trying to manage student athletes, so bringing in time management, implementing study halls, balancing our schedule around classes," said Donahue.

"When it comes to actual coaching, I don't see it as being that much different."

In terms of local talent, Donahue has gained a familiarity going back to the early teens with a small handful of his players. But even with those who call Sudbury home only during the school year, it's not like he is meeting them for the very first time.

"Most of the guys I have seen around because most of them trained at The Baseball Academy last winter," said Donahue. "And we've spent about 12 hours together in the last three days, so I am getting to know them and they are getting to know me."

That will be key as Laurentian starts play this weekend, tackling a pair of double-headers on the road opposite the TMU (Toronto Metropolitan University) Bold (Saturday) and the Queen's Gaels on Sunday in Kingston.

With plenty of baseball coaching experience under his belt, Donahue has no problem outlining exactly what the game plan is as he looks to make his mark at L.U.

"As a new coach, I want to build sustainability, I want to build a culture," he stated. "I want to put a good product on the field and get support from the community. I know that just from being around the team last year, the guys were definitely competitive."

"I want to put a good product on the field to give the players something to look forward to," he added. "I think if we put it all together, we should be able to compete with the bigger schools. There's no reason why we can't."

The Voyageurs (OUA) will kickoff the home portion of their schedule on September 16th and 17th, welcoming the Western Mustangs (Saturday) and Laurier Golden Hawks (Sunday) to town for double-header action at the Terry Fox Sports Complex.

The roster that Donahue has assembled includes Andrew Weber, Ben Baydock, Brayden Grech, Callum Belshaw, Chris Ross, Ethan Berube, Joshua MacNeil, Liam Socransky, Matt Obradovich, Nich Verbeek, Noah Casault, Noah Warkentin, Reid Deibert, Ryan Lacasse, Tucker Belanger, Will Darbel, Luka Arruda, Noah O'Brien and Noah Leveille.

Joining Donahue as team staff as Max Rydholm, Liam Clark, Baryden MacEwan, Matt Braumberger, Jean-Gilles Larocque and Michel Lariviere.

Dairy Queen - Sudbury - Kingsway / Val Caron