Bound for na­tion­als

Five young ballplay­ers head­ing to Girls’ Na­tional

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Things are look­ing up for girls’ base­ball in the Con­cep­tion Bay North re­gion.

With dozens of young fe­male ath­letes pick­ing up the game at a young level with the CBN Bull­dogs, the crop of ballplay­ers is get­ting stronger by the year.

Help­ing grow the game are five ath­letes who will be rep­re­sent­ing New­found­land and Labrador on the main­land later this month.

Holly Crane, Me­gan Adams, Cai­ley Drover, April Squires and Vanessa Jones will be don­ning the black and red jer­seys of Team NL for 2012 Ban­tam Girls In­vi­ta­tional Cham­pi­onships be­ing held in Bed­ford, Nova Sco­tia, Aug. 23-27.

All hail from Up­per Is­land Cove, save for Squires, who is from the nearby community of Til­ton.

It will be an in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence for the five Con­cep­tion Bay North ballplay­ers as the tour­na­ment will not only fea­ture games teams from On­tario, Quebec, Nova Sco­tia, Man­i­toba, Al­berta and British Columbia, but also a team from Chicago, Illi­nois. For the five ath­letes, it is go­ing to be an ex­cit­ing time. “It’s go­ing to be pretty crazy,” said pitcher and left-fielder Holly Crane. Each player is ex­cited for the chance to show­case ev­ery­thing they’ve learned on the sand­lots and ball fields of this prov­ince on the na­tional stage, as well as a host of other el­e­ments.

“It’s the whole ex­pe­ri­ence,” said in­fielder Me­gan Adams. “Go­ing up there and get­ting to play against other teams. Down here, you’re play­ing against the same teams over and over.

“We’re play­ing against strong teams and other girls teams. We’ve never re­ally played against other girls teams other than our tour­na­ment last year.”

Each ath­lete par­tic­i­pated in an in­vi­ta­tional tour­na­ment last year in Hal­i­fax.

Catcher/short­stop Cai­ley Drover sees the tour­na­ment ex­pe­ri­ence as a way to pick up tips that can help im­prove all as­pects of her game.

“Play­ing against dif­fer­ent peo­ple, we’re go­ing to learn new tech­niques and what to do in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions,” she said. “They’re rep­re­sent­ing their prov­ince, so their go­ing to be good play­ers.”

Fa­mil­iar faces

When they take to the field in Bed­ford for the first time, a pair of fa­mil­iar faces will greet Squires, Adams, Crane, Drover and Jones.

Adams’ fa­ther Scott is one of the as­sis­tant coaches on the squad, while her mother, Heather, is the team’s man­ager.

Both of these peo­ple be­ing a part of the ex­pe­ri­ence is sure to have a calm­ing ef­fect on the girls.

Ea c h a d m i tt e d that the mo­ments prior to the start of the first game nerves will be a bit of a fac­tor.

“You could be afraid to say some­thing,” said in­fielder/out­fielder April Squires. “You can tell Scott and he’ll help you out.”

Scott said hav­ing five play­ers from the CBN base­ball pro­gram is a “lit­tle over­whelm­ing.”

“No other as­so­ci­a­tion in the prov­ince has more play­ers on the girls team than us,” he said. ”It’s a ma­jor ac­com­plish­ment for the five play­ers and the as­so­ci­a­tion.”

Grow­ing the women’s game

Hav­ing f ive play­ers on the pro­vin­cial team is sure to pay div­i­dends for the cur­rent and next gen­er­a­tion of fe­male ath­letes in the base­ball pro­gram.

When they re­turn from the tour­na­ment, they’ll have sto­ries about in­ter­act­ing with their peers from other prov­inces and coun­tries, as well as the skills to im­part on younger ballplay­ers.

It is sure to help grow a pro­gram that is on the cusp of be­com­ing a ma­jor hub for base­ball in the prov­ince.

“Our girls’ pro­gram fed off the mo­men­tum from the na­tion­als ap­pear­ance in 2007, so I’m hop­ing the 2012 ap­pear­ance has a pos­i­tive im­pact on the pro­gram in 2013 and be­yond,” said Scott Adams.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

The CBN Bull­dogs are send­ing five fe­male ath­letes to the 2012 Ban­tam Girls In­vi­ta­tional Tour­na­ment be­ing held in Be­ford, Nova Sco­tia, Aug. 23-27. They are, from left: Holly Crane, April Squires, Me­gan Adams and Cai­ley Drover. Miss­ing from photo is Vanessa Jones.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.