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North Thompson ball team takes second at Summer Games

They had only two practices together but a North Thompson softball team brought home silver medals last week in the BC Summer Games.
Kalan Priede pitching at the Summer Games. (Photo taken by Lennie Mclaren-Priede)

They had only two practices together but a North Thompson softball team brought home silver medals last week in the BC Summer Games.

The Zone 2 team, which included seven boys from Clearwater, two from Barriere and one each from Kamloops and Merritt, showed their “heart and enthusiasm” in the competition, held last week in Prince George. More than 3,000 spectators were at the opening ceremonies, the first in over four years, to cheer on the more than 2,200 athletes who competed in various events.

“It was great,” team manager Tera Carter said. “All the connections and the friendships and bonds they made … it was really cool.”

Carter said while some of the Clearwater players had played together before, the team only had two practices and one game before they hit the road for Prince George last Wednesday.

“We were desperate for players,” she said. “I begged and pleaded with them to play. I didn’t care what kind of team I had as long as they got to play.”

In their first game Friday, the team battled hard against Zone 1, coming out triumphant with an 8-7 win, thanks to a home run hit by Kalan Priede in the final inning.

In the second game, they made history when pitcher Devin Holland threw a perfect game - with no runs and the opposing team didn’t touch a single base - leading the team to a 11-0 shutout. Riding on their high spirits, the team crushed Zone 7 (Terrace), with a win of 14-2, clinching first place in the qualifying round robin.

The crowd went wild Saturday afternoon watching the boys pull off yet another win over Zone 8, finishing 5-1 and giving the boys a spot to compete for gold on Sunday morning.

It was a tough game Sunday, with Zone 7 getting four quick runs out of the gate. The boys dug deep but despite all best efforts, lost the game 11-7.

“Terrace showed up to play,” Carter said. “Once Terrace scored four wins on us in the second inning, we got deflated and it was hard to come back after that.”

Carter said the team had no expectations going into the games and was happy to bring home the silver. She maintains she had participated in the Summer Games and wanted her son to have the same experience.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said.

The BC Winter and BC Summer Games were established in 1978 to bring young people around B.C. together through sport and friendship.

The team acknowledged the generous sponsorship of Borrow Enterprises, Summit Electric and Clearwater Minor Ball, as well as volunteer coaches Zeke Gould and Adam Donnelly.

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The North Thompson team making life-long friendships. (Submitted photo)