Boys are back: squirts host provincials in Alberni

The Alberni Valley Blazers will host nine teams from all over B.C. this weekend at Echo Minor field for the boys’ squirt C and squirt rep B.C. championships.

Hosting this year’s B.C. Squirt Fastpitch finals are the Alberni Valley Blazers.

For the first time in 12 years, boys’ squirt fastpitch provincial championships are coming to Port Alberni.

The Alberni Valley Blazers will host nine teams from all over B.C. this weekend at Echo Minor field for the boys’ squirt C and squirt rep B.C. championships.

“The last time the boys were hosted in Alberni was 12 years ago,” Blazers’ assistant coach Maria Charlesworth said. “And I believe it was a bantam age group.”

The Alberni Valley last year hosted bantam girls and two years ago hosted squirt girls. “We usually get a provincial (championship) every year. But they’ve been girls for the last 11 years,” Charlesworth said.

The Alberni Valley Minor Softball Association has earned a sterling reputation over the years for hosting provincial championships, so they usually are granted a tournament whenever they bid for it, she added.

Hosting the squirt boys is a positive sign for the boys program, which has been losing teams every year across the province.

“It’s a good thing to have them back on the Island.”

The Blazers finished fifth at the provincials last year and have had a phenomenal season this year already, Charlesworth said. “We think they’ll improve in the standings. We hope they place.”

The team has one loss and one tie in a winning tournament season so far. They play house softball in the girls’ peewee division in Port Alberni, then squirt boys’ teams in tourneys.

The Blazers are a squad of 12 players, and Charlesworth said they won’t be picking up any players for the provincials despite the fact they are permitted to. “They’ve worked hard all season and they deserve it,” she added.

Teams to watch include defending champions Clearwater—the only team to deal the Blazers a loss this season—second place Fleetwood and last year’s bronze medallists 100 Mile House.

Games start Friday, July 15 at 9 a.m. Opening ceremonies will be at 1 p.m. and the last game will be 6 p.m. Games run all weekend at Echo Minor Fields, across from the AV Multiplex on Roger Street. Admission is free, the concession will be open and there will be a raffle table.

A skills and drills competition is slated for Saturday morning, and it’s always a favourite with spectators, Charlesworth said.

HOME PLATE…The Blazers wanted something to commemorate all the time they’ve played together, so this year the team fundraised so they could buy new jerseys. They will debut their home whites at the provincials…The Blazers will likely play their first game at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. on Friday. The schedule was to be drawn after the News went to press…Games will be posted on the board at Diamond 1.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Casual car show will put the drive into food drive

Port Alberni’s Cars and Coffee will wrap up with a food drive in September

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port Alberni bands ‘out of the basement’ and onto an album

Two bands, products of the Alberni Valley’s school of rock, celebrate their CD debut

Stephen Novik takes the mic at Words on Fire in Port Alberni

Event takes place Aug. 29 at Char’s Landing

VIDEO: RCMP officer killed in the line of duty remembered ‘through the laughter of children’

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Most Read