The U14 Wildcats fastpitch team is heading to Quebec next month to compete at the 2016 Peewee Boys’ Eastern Canadian Championship.
Trevor Hehn, head coach of the Wellesley-based squad, says the boys are really happy to be going. The tournament will give the guys an opportunity they have yet to experience.
“It is going to be exciting to see the guys play against other provinces. That is something they haven’t done before,” he said. “It is something that the guys have strived for for a long time.”
There will be ten teams in Bellechasse, Quebec, including three from Quebec, one other from Ontario (Napanee) and a team from Newfoundland. Pitcher Reese Yantzi says the Wildcats have a small rivalry with Napanee, but are really looking forward to facing off with teams from the Maritimes.“I heard that Newfoundland was a pretty decent team, so that should be interesting,” he said. “I think that Newfoundland will be our battle. We strive to be the best that we can and they are one of the stronger teams.”
Dylan Hehn has his sights set on their Ontario rivals in Napanee.
“We want to beat Napanee and come home with a medal,” he said after a game against Tavistock on July 21.
The team will be playing plenty of baseball in the lead-up to the Eastern Canadian Championships, keeping to their regular season schedule, but also heading to plenty of tournaments.
“We have three tournaments coming up in August, so we are going to be playing a lot of ball ahead of our trip to Quebec,” said coach Hehn. “It will be a lot of fun and a lot of baseball.”
Yantzi still has a couple of things he wants to work on before they head into the competition.
“My rise ball. It is a pitch that makes the ball go higher at the end,” he said.
Coach Hehn added a bit of an explanation.
“In the last eight feet it should jump. It comes up on a flat plane, then with a spin on the ball, it should jump up at the end, tricking the batter into swinging,” he said.
The community has rallied behind the Wildcats, giving them both moral and financial support and coach Hehn is thankful.
“We have had plenty of community support. There are lots who have sponsored us, from Wellesley and beyond.”