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U15 Athletics quality for national tournament

By Lee Griffi, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

The Tavistock Athletics U15 boys’ team is headed to Quebec next month to compete for a Canadian championship.

The team came up one game short at the OASA elimination tournament in New Hamburg on the weekend but a silver medal was enough to qualify.

After beating Perth-Huron in the first game, the Merchants lost a 5-3 heartbreaker to Tara, setting up an epic Sunday where they won back-to-back-to-back games against Norwich, Ennismore, and Tara. After being on the diamond for over eight hours, they dropped an 8-1 decision to Elmira in the gold medal game.

Assistant coach Corey McCann said the defeat in game two made it tough sledding for the kids.

“The loss to Tara put us in the loser’s bracket, so we had to work our way back. We had about 20 minutes between games but they were one after another. Our pitchers were basically done. They worked their butts off during those three games but they had nothing left. It was a factor but we also need to play really good ball to beat Elmira.”

McCann added the kids’ goal was to reach the Canadian tournament right from the start of the season when they had indoor workouts in Shakespeare. He explained the team is in a good spot with over a month before the big tournament.

“We still have some league games left and we need to focus on the areas where we need to improve. We didn’t commit many errors and our pitchers threw well.”

He added he and the other members of the coaching staff along with the players have remained together since back in coach pitch, something that has made a difference.

“Every other year some go up and down, but the majority of the team has been together since the start. No one has left. They know each other really well and they feed off each other. It does mean something to stay together and not have kids bouncing all over the place like in minor hockey.”

McCann is forecasting the same teams competing on the weekend will be front and centre at the national tournament.

“Elmira has a really good team with a lot of second-year players. They’re tough. Tara is tough and we will be right there too. Norwich didn’t qualify but I believe an Ontario team will win the title.”

Tavistock’s Marshall McKay was named the top pitcher at the OASA event in New Hamburg.

The Canadian championships are later this summer in St.-Leonard-D’Aston, Que. from Aug. 14-18.


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