Fam­ily that plays to­gether

Base­ball NL un­der-16 team has plenty of fam­ily ties

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Three mem­bers of the CBN Bull­dogs squad that earned ros­ter spots on the pro­vin­cial un­der-16 fe­male team know each other bet­ter than most team­mates do. That’s be­cause these girls have a fam­ily bond that goes be­yond base­ball.

The New­found­land and Labrador un­der-16 fe­male base­ball team has a dis­tinct fam­ily feel to its prac­tices.

That’s at least when it comes to play­ers from the Con­cep­tion Bay North re­gion. It’s be­cause a trio of play­ers have known each other for years.

There’s Victoria Rear­don and her younger sis­ter Hil­lary, along with their first cousin Madi­son Coombs. You can call them the Bryant’s Cove trio if you will.

Ear­lier this month, the three ball play­ers were short­listed for the club and are set to rep­re­sent their prov­ince at the Base­ball Canada Na­tional un­der-16 Cham­pi­onships in Vaughn, Ont., Aug. 18-22. Al­to­gether there are five play­ers from the CBN re­gion don­ning the fa­mil­iar red jer­seys.

Spa­niard’s Bay’s Jenna Lee Ralph and Up­per Is­land Cove’s Stephanie Crane are also on the list. There is a chance we’ll see more lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion, but that de­pends on how coaches eval­u­ate play­ers dur­ing sum­mer tour­na­ments.

Of the three fam­ily mem­bers, Victoria has the most ex­pe­ri­ence. It’ll be her third trip with the pro­vin­cial team to the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

That’s in stark con­trast to Hil­lary and Madi­son. Both are at the ban­tam-level and headed to their first na­tional tourna- ment.

“I was more proud that they made it than I made it,” Victoria said of see­ing the se­lec­tion list.

For the other two, see­ing their name on the list made them smile. They tried out last year, but didn’t get the call.

They made sure they got it this year after a strong try­out.

“I was happy,” said Hil­lary of find­ing her name on the short list.

“I was pretty ex­cited,” added Madi­son. “It’s nice to have peo­ple that you’re close to on the same team.” Look­ing for­ward It’ll be a chance of scenery for Victoria, and a whole new ex­pe­ri­ence for the younger play­ers. The el­dest has spent the past two sum­mers play­ing in Que­bec with the pro­vin­cial team.

This year, Victoria heads to On­tario — no doubt with the rest of her fam­ily in tow.

For her, the tour­na­ment re­mains about the base­ball. It’s what she most looks for­ward to do­ing while she’s gone.

“I’m def­i­nitely look­ing for­ward to it,” said Victoria.

In their in­au­gu­ral trip with the pro­vin­cial club, Madi­son and Hil­lary have eyes on tak­ing ev­ery­thing in.

From the bus rides with team to game day, they’re look­ing for­ward to all the tour­na­ment has to of­fer.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to the trip,” Hil­lary said with a big smile.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to the trip too, and the ball and test­ing my­self,” added Madi­son.

While play­ing with the un­der-16 team is spe­cial, it means a lit­tle bit more for these three.

“I played base­ball with (a lot of the play­ers) last year and for them to step in and play makes it all that much bet­ter,” Victoria said mo­tion­ing to her fam­ily.

Next up for them will be the Bull­dogs Clas­sic tour­na­ment this week­end.

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

A trio of ball play­ers from the CBN re­gion are fam­ily. Shown here is Victoria Rear­don (cen­tre) along with her cousin Madi­son Coombs (left) and younger sis­ter Hil­lary.

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