A total of 14 teams took part in Midget boys and Peewee provincial softball championships in Clearwater during the July 13 – 15 weekend.
Hundreds of family members accompanied the players and coaches, and local hotels, motels and restaurants report a busy three days.
Clearwater Peewees placed second in the U14 Boys Rep category. The boys had some shining moments during the weekend but were unable to overcome strong pitching from the eventual first place winners, the Cloverdale Hurricane.
Clearwater Midget Crushers took first place in the U18 Boys C category. They beat out Prince George Selects, the only other team in the category, in a series of hard-fought games that went back-and-forth. Their final game on Sunday afternoon was postponed because of heavy rain and thunder.
“Clearwater’s done a fabulous job,” commented Durvene Gal, the Softball BC board representative at the tournament. “I would love to see the town host events like this again. The hotels and the local residents have been great.”
Gal noted that it has been more than 25 years since Clearwater has hosted a provincial softball tournament, with the last time being in 1986 (according to the Times’ files, six teams took part in the provincial Squirt B championships in Clearwater that year. Clearwater came second).
She was impressed by the number of volunteers who took part and how well organized they were.
A sit-down dinner for players and coaches Friday evening also was something special, she said.
“Melody has done lots of work,” commented the Softball BC representative, referring to Melody Romeo, the local organizer.
Gal said she had approached Romeo several years ago about hosting a tournament here and she was glad the Clearwater resident took up the challenge.
The Softball BC representative helped clear up one glitch during the event. Because of the number of Peewee teams entered, several C and Rep teams ended up playing each other during the initial round robin portion. This was not fair competition, as the C teams tend to be less skilled than the Rep teams. Two C teams, in fact, played three games against Rep teams in a row.
Rather than eliminating the losing C teams, the playoff portion of the tournament was extended. This meant arranging extra time from District of Clearwater plus the umpires.
If Clearwater does decide to host another provincial championship, Gal’s only suggestion was to see if a fourth ballfield could be arranged.
Having one more ball diamond would meant the community could host a girls’ championship, she said.
U14 Boys Rep: 1, Cloverdale Hurricane; 2, Clearwater Crushers; 3, Richmond Mariners.
U14 Boys C: 1, North Surrey Warriors; 2, Williams Lake Loons; 3, Fleetwood Spartans.
Other U14 teams taking part were Merritt Hub Electric, Prince George Timberwolves and Sooke.
U18 Boys Rep: 1, Richmond Mariners; 2, Langford Lightning; 3, Fleetwood Marlins.
U18 Boys C: 1: Clearwater Crushers; 2, Prince George Selects (a two-team double-knockout).