Vermilion To Host The Best Of The Best
From left, Reese Bildfell on 3rd, Taylor Pankiw pitching, and Chelsea Katuski at short stop.
Hundreds of Softball Alberta fans are expected to flood the Pioneer Park Ball Diamonds with support as the U19 Vermilion Shadows Host Softball Provincials from July 7 - 9.
Vermilion will host U19 D Girls teams from Barrhead, Bently, Bonnyville, Elnora, Lacombe, Olds, and Red Deer. Opening Ceremonies will be held on July 7, at 5:30 p.m., and added excitement can be seen on July 8, during the Skills Competition.
Realizing that they had three players in Grade 11 and the rest in Grade 12, the Vermilion U19 Shadows applied to host, and were thrilled to have been chosen. Eager and ready to play, the team is working hard to be at the top of their game.
“So far in the season, they are at the top of the league. The next two weeks are crunch time with a lot of the girls having school finals and games in between. On bat and pitching they are doing really well,” said Vermilion Head Coach, Dana Gard.
Taylor Pankiw stealing home during the U19 Girls softball game against Lac La Biche on June 19, where Vermilion won 15 - 3.
This year’s U19 Shadows team includes players from Vermilion as well as Clandonald, Elk Point, and Wainwright. The team went to Provincials last year, making many familiar with the heightened atmosphere.
“A chance to play at home with the home crowd in your Grade 12 year will be a nice way to go into the summer; hopefully as champs!” said Gard.
Captains Tenille Chase and Ali Schmahl agreed that the team aspect is their favourite part.
“Now that we are older it is a lot faster too, like any sport, it always gets better. I’ve created lifelong friendships on this team. I am excited to be hosting Provincials, and think it will be an interesting opportunity to bring a lot of community spirit. Having hosted similar volleyball and basketball events with St. Jerome’s School in the past, I think with it being summer and a town event, the U19 D Girls Softball Provincials will bring more to the community,” said Tenille Chase.
“The same group of girls has been playing together for about 10 years. You get really close with the team. We’ve come a long way, and put in a lot this year,” said Ali Schmahl.
To show support for the U19 Shadows, you are invited to the Pioneer Park Ball Diamonds from July 7 – 9. There will be a concession and washrooms available, and the gate fee is still TBD.
“Thank you to our sponsors. We honestly couldn’t host something like this without you,” said Gard.
Vermilion U19 Shadows Captains, Ali Schmahl, and Tenille Chase. Photos Angela Mouly