100 Mile n Hour U13 Boys Softball Team (Photo submitted)

100 Mile n Hour U13 Boys Softball Team (Photo submitted)

100 Mile N’ Hour U13 come back to win gold

100 Mile N’ Hour U13 took on nine teams to win the provincial boy’s softball championship in Merritt in July

100 Mile ‘N Hour was down by five in the sixth inning.

Max Sankey was in the centre field, the other team was up to bat.

He saw the ball coming toward him. He took a couple of steps, jumped in mid-air to catch it.

“It was nerve-wracking,” Max. 13, said. “When I realized I caught it it was exciting.”

A few minutes later, he was swarmed by his teammates. The crowd was cheering.

“It would have been a home run for the other team,” said teammate Landen Berube, 13.

The catch won them the game, 23-18, giving them gold in the provincials in Merritt on July 15-17.

Denise Kennedy, manager and assistant coach, said it was amazing to watch the play, especially as it was the first year for the U13 team.

They had never had enough U13-aged youth to form a development team before. They just squeaked in this year with 11 players, most of them boys who had grown up together in Horse Lake.

At their first tournament in Ashcroft earlier this year, they had lost every game and were eliminated on the first day.

“It was not fun,” Declan said. “We lost every game because we weren’t a team yet.”

But they came back, Kennedy said, noting she and the the team’s two coaches, Reggie Hooper and Andrea Boyce got to work. They stopped scrimmages and games to focus on the fundamentals. The team was split into three and given more focused training on catching, batting and other skills. Practices were held three times a week.

It seemed to be the magic they needed.

The team didn’t lose a single game over the three days. Kennedy’s son Declan, 13, hit a home run on the second and third day of the tournament, while Landen notched two homers on the third day.

Declan said after the losses in Ashcroft, the winning “just felt way better.”

Kennedy said they couldn’t believe their winning streak. “The kids were all cheering,” she said.

“I’m so glad that I didn’t miss this opportunity to see this happen and to be part of it. ‘I’m very proud to share the bench with those two coaches.”

All but three of the team will move up to the U15 level next year.

“Winning the gold medal was not an easy task it took teamwork, communication, skill, and most importantly, friendship,” Landen said.

“We went up against teams I never knew we could beat. I can’t wait to see what next year has in store.”



fiona.grisswell@100milefreepress.net

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100 Mile n Hour U13 Boys Softball Team (Photo submitted)

100 Mile n Hour U13 Boys Softball Team (Photo submitted)

100 Mile n Hour U13 Boys Softball Team (Photo submitted)

100 Mile n Hour U13 Boys Softball Team (Photo submitted)

The 100 Mile ‘N Hour U13 team came back from a dismal start to take gold at the 2022 Provincial boys softball championship in Merritt. (Photo submitted)

The 100 Mile ‘N Hour U13 team came back from a dismal start to take gold at the 2022 Provincial boys softball championship in Merritt. (Photo submitted)