Moving to Hays for the summer can be quite an adjustment for members of the Larks Summer Baseball team, many of which are coming from much bigger cities. But for a pair of Larks from Edmonton, Ontario, Kansas is already a home away from home.
How is it two players from the same city in Canada end up as teammates in Hays Kansas anyway?
“In high school I played on a baseball academy and we made a trip to Kansas to play all the junior colleges,” said Larks Utility player Kevin Czarnecki. “And after playing in Garden City that’s when I got offered.”
His teammate Cooper Langley also played in the United States several times before landing at a Kansas junior college.
“One of my hitting coaches when I was in high school became the hitting coach at Colby Community College,” said Langley. “So I had an in with the Jayhawk Conference and made my way down here.”
Langley played two seasons at Hutchinson Community College where he earned all-conference and all region honors. Czarnecki meanwhile, put up big numbers for two seasons in Garden City.
From their respective junior colleges the two Canadians were reunited, as it were, when they both signed at Fort Hays State
“Me and Coop have known each other since we we’re probably 12 or 13 years old,” said Czarnecki. “So it’s actually pretty sweet to be able to play with him again.”
Adds Langley, “It’s kind of funny, we were roommates this year (at Fort Hays State), too. So we know each other pretty well.”
The Tiger teammates are having a good summer for the Larks, with Langley hitting .328 and Czarnecki .302. Both say playing the same place the spent the spring, made the transition to summer baseball a lot easier.
“It’s nice to know the town and to know what to expect,” said Langley. “And it’s a nice ball field so.”
Czarnecki, who is currently out with an ankle injury agrees, “I love playing at this field. So obviously playing here in the summer time is that much better.”