KAMLOOPS — In just a few short weeks, 13 of the top young softball players from British Columbia will be taking part in the under-19 Men’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championships in Napanee, Ontario.
While Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland have long produced many of the top fast-pitch players from B.C., this squad has athletes from all over the province, including a pair who play club ball in Kamloops Major Men’s Fastball League.
The team was on a short tour through the interior over the weekend and stopped in Cache Creek on Sunday afternoon for one last practice and a quick game against some locals before beginning their final preparations for their trip east.
Along with the practice in Cache Creek, the team took on a group of locals in a pickup game, organized by local fastpitch player Kyle Minnabarriet. The central location was also convenient for a pair of athletes who play in the Kamloops. Ethan Lans and Dreydon Thomas were both all-stars in the KMMFL this past season, and that performance on the diamond has led to an opportunity for both players to show their skills on a national stage.
Thomas, who’s from Ashcroft, says the opportunity to compete against the top players from across Canada will be a great opportunity to take his game to the next level.
Lans, who at 16 is the youngest player on the team, wants to take the opportunity to prove he belongs at the top level of the game, and compete against the older athletes.
With a roster of 13 players heading to the week-long tournament in Ontario, both Thomas and Lans will get plenty of opportunities to play – but for head coach Scott Groves, it’s their attitude off the field that makes each athlete a valuable asset to Team BC.
The Men’s U19 Canadian fastpitch Championships run from August 14th to the 19th in Napanee, Ontario, with Team BC heading on August 12th.