Simcoe Braves gear up for world tourney - Simcoe Reformer
SIMCOE – The Simcoe Braves won a provincial banner in 2016 and this summer the group will take on the world.
The International Softball Congress (ISC) announced this off-season that it will not only play host to a number of men’s and under-21 level events, including the annual World Tournament, the organization is set to welcome youngsters in the U-16 and U-14 ‘developmental’ age groups as well.
The Braves – winners of the Ontario Amateur Softball Association ‘C’ title ‑ have accepted an invite to take part in the ISC U-14 draw in Saginaw, Michigan this July.
“It definitely adds a little bit of excitement,” said Adam Walker, who coaches the team along with Shawna Cloet. “Going to the States to play ball is a big deal on its own for the kids. We’ve talked to them about a couple years down the road getting to a nationals or an (eastern Canadian tournament), so to add this to the mix definitely brings a level of excitement for these kids.”
The tournament brackets are expected to feature teams from across Canada, the U.S. and even possibly Australia.
Trying to judge the competition at this point would be like swinging at a pitch blindfolded, Walker said.
“It’s not like hockey when you can go online and see what these teams have done … you really have no clue. There’s some real softball hotbeds across the Midwest in places like Illinois and North Dakota. I’m sure we’ll see some goods teams,” said Walker.
“They’re talking about bringing a couple teams from Australia. We’ve seen what the Aussies can bring at the men’s level and I’m sure we’ll see some great competition (their younger teams) too.”
The Braves met for indoor training once a week at Bloomsburg Public School this winter to prepare for their second campaign. In addition to that, pitchers and catchers reported to the Rising Stars training facility in Brantford for further instruction and practice.
Walker hopes the extra effort will equal wins on one of the biggest stages in the game.
“With the work they’ve put in and the dedication they’ve shown in the past for this, we’ll hopefully do this area proud,” he said.
Port Dover adding boys team
The Port Dover Minor Softball Association (PDMSA) is looking to add a boys team in the 9/10-year-old age group. With no teams besides the Braves nearby, any youngster from Simcoe, Waterford and other Norfolk communities is eligible to join.
The organization also houses players in younger divisions and girls right up to 16.
“We’re certainly interested in any kids that are interested in trying softball,” said Peter Timpf, Port Dover Minor Softball president.
Anyone looking for more information can contact Timpf at 519-583-0820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.