Peewee ‘boys of summer’ prepping for Provincials
It’s only a few more sleeps now (one week to be exact) until the Merritt U14 peewee boys softball team leaves for Clearwater and the provincial “C” championships.
A total of nine peewee teams will be on hand in Clearwater for the three-day competition that will begin with round robin play on the morning of Friday, July 13 and wrap-up with the medal games on the Sunday.
In addition to Merritt and the host squad, other peewee teams will be from Richmond, Sooke, North Surrey, Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Prince George and Williams Lake.
“It’s been quite a few years since a boys’ softball team from Merritt has gone to the Provincials,” stated head coach Cliff Colter. “We’re going to have to play really well to compete.”
While practices in preparation for the provincial championships have been going well, Colter said that the poor weather and lack of games has definitely hindered his squad’s progress.
“Just this past Tuesday night, it was freezing cold at practice, and it’s been like that for almost the whole season so far. As for competition, we’ve had to rely on games against our bantam girls’ team here in Merritt, and a few league games against Clearwater and Barriere. It’s not enough really, but what can you do.”
While the Merritt peewee team will have just 11 players on the roster at provincials, Colter feels that his line-up has some definite strengths, including four members of the Zone 2 peewee team that will be attending the B.C. Summer Games in Langley the third week in July.
“We can play pretty good defense at times, and we can run. The hitting continues to improve. As always in baseball, if our pitching is on we could do quite well.”
Colter and assistant coach Everett Hoisington know they have a young squad, with several players eligible to play peewee for another year, but they both believe the trip to Provincials will be very beneficial, regardless of the outcome in the wins and losses columns.
“It’ll be a real eye-opener for our players, but they need to see what’s out there, and what it takes to compete. Hopefully, they’ll try their hardest and we’ll see what comes of it.”