The top 16 U16 teams from around the province descended on Cranbrook this weekend for the 2016 U16C Softball BC Provincial Championships, hosted by the Cranbrook Heat.
In terms of a provincial championship, the event was practically a last minute deal. Softball B.C. was left without a host site as late as March. But the Cranbrook Heat stepped up and offered their services and their town in April, and were quickly approved.
“We have an incredible group of parents,” said tournament co-ordinator Teralie McCormack, of the short timeline to get the event organized. “Everybody stepped up and took on some jobs.”
And the stellar job Cranbrook did, from the opening ceremonies Friday to the final gold medal match Sunday, was noticed by all who attended.
“The Softball B.C. rep and the Umpire in Chief both commented on how well organized our volunteers were, especially the scorekeepers and ground crew,” McCormack said. Even several of the teams commented on how well the grounds crew prepped for every game — they were just on top of everything.
“I’m so proud of this group of parents.”
Throughout the tournament, the vibe was positive, and having fun was certainly a part of the competition. And the competition was intense.
The host Cranbrook Heat found themselves in a tough round robin draw — playing the Enderby Storm (the eventual gold medal winners), the North Surrey Nitro, the Fleetwood Jr. Bandits (the eventual gold medal winners) and the Chilliwack Crushers. After two days of round robin action, the Heat were left out of playoff round.
“They were a little bit frustrated, because they did get a really tough draw,” McCormack said of the Heat. “But they played their best game on Saturday afternoon, the best they’d ever played together. They didn’t win, but they were really proud of the way they played. And so were their coaches.”
The top finishers were Enderby Storm (Gold), the Summerland Scorch (Silver), the Fleetwood Jr. Bandits (Bronze) and the Kamloops Diggers (fourth).