The lack of a Bantam softball team in Clearwater has opened up an opportunity for a young man from Clearwater.
Taylor Rhodes played with various local squads as he came up through the ranks with Clearwater Minor Ball, often against teams from Chilliwack.
Last year, when they heard he wouldn’t be playing because there was no Bantam-level team in Clearwater, staff with the Chilliwack Vipers Bantam A team invited him to play with them.
Because of the distance, he hasn’t been able to participate in every practice with the team. However, he has been to tournaments, and lately that has paid off with medals.
The Vipers started off the season by winning bronze in a Fleetwest tournament – not too bad, considering it was a Midget event.
July 6 – 8 the Vipers competed in the provincial softball tournament and went undefeated to win the gold.
The local backcatcher showed his prowess during a skills competition at the tournament, winning the throwing contest with a 320-foot toss.
They followed up the provincial win by competing in the Western Canadians in Strathmore, Alberta on Aug. 9 – 12.
Playing against teams from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Vipers brought home bronze medals.
This was Taylor’s third time to the Western Canadians – twice with Clearwater teams and once with Chilliwack.
Competition at the Westerns was intense. In the semi-final game the score was 4- 2 with the Vipers behind going into the seventh inning. With three on base, Taylor made a hit, tying up the score. The Vipers then scored seven runs in the eighth inning to take third place overall.