**Special thanks to our guest writer for the contribution.


Even a handful of days after winning his fifth GTBL Championship as a head coach, Nolan Revin or simply "Rev" was excited when discussing how 2022 closed out.

With a big grin the Reds GM and field manager says proudly, "2022 was a special year for us to win especially with a 1-5 start out of the gate. We struggled with injuries and bodies early on, but our veteran voices started talking and things started happening." Not one to dwell on personal success he's quite quick to point out- "We have guys here who have five and some three or four Championships, if not for them(the core of the club) we wouldn't have the fun or positive results we get on the field. We still haven't quite accomplished what we want as a group, but we are right there." A Provincial title is what Rev hints at, coming oh so close in 2019, but having to settle for a silver medal falling 1-0 to Sarnia in the final. "Yep, that's the next box that NEEDS to get checked off for the club, I'm already talking to guys for 2023.", he says with a slight grin, almost insinuating there are some positive signs in next season's recruiting.

The Reds came into the GTBL weekend tournament dealing with something unusual for them as a club, they were slightly shorthanded in starting pitching. Danny Garcia was lost to a late IBL signing which rendered the Dominican born arm ineligible, and GTBL wins and strikeout leader Mike Bannon was gone for the season on family holiday. Max Dieks would be asked to start game one against the Newmarket Hawks, and the young righty started, and finished. 11-1 was the final in six innings, Dieks walked one, allowed just three hits, and struck out four to earn the complete game win and start Thornhill off in the right direction. Veteran and five time champ Argenis Paz led the offensive charge for the Reds, as the shortstop went 2-3 with three RBI, scored twice and stole a base. His two hits were for extra bases as he booked a double and triple in the opening win.

In game two the Reds prepared for a tough test against the first place Kendal Eagles. "Basically a must win I thought in my head." says Revin, "With the lack of pitching depth we had, and the strength of those guys, I'm not sure we would have had enough to win two on Sunday." Mack Major willingly accepted the challenge and the baseball  and also delivered. Trailing 1-0 after five, the Reds posted a three run sixth, and picked off the Eagles 3-2 in an excellent ball game. Major went all seven scattering seven hits, striking out four for the win. Warren Kember had the big knock for the Reds in this one, a two run single in the big sixth. Junior call up Jonah Brotman singled in the third run, which proved to be the game clincher.

 Sitting at 2-0 momentum swung toward the Thornhill side, with someone needing to knock off the Reds two straight on Sunday to claim the crown. The Reds started long time ace Chadwick Cameron against the surprising East York Bulldogs, and for the third time on the weekend Thornhill got a complete game win from their starter. The final was a close contested battle with the Bulldogs taking a 2-1 lead to the sixth, where once again the Reds mustered up a big inning and ended up winning the GTBL title 6-4. Cameron went all seven for the clinching win joining Paz with five GTBL championships. The veteran right hander gave up seven hits and just two earned runs, striking out seven and walking none. Once again it was Paz charging the offense, delivering a big 2 RBI double, scoring two runs and stealing two bags.

Paz was named the GTBL playoff MVP for the second time in his career, opposing managers giving him the nod after a .375 weekend which saw him drive in five runs and provide his usual sharp defense at short. "I'm going for MJ status next year!" Paz laughed, referencing the six NBA rings for the retired legend.

2023 is not far away, and if history is any indicator the Reds will be good again and likely better. Thornhill has now won five of the last eight GTBL championships and have supplanted themselves as a provincial leader. Congratulations to the 2022 Thornhill Reds on their GTBL Championship.