Two athletes from the Lac La Ronge Indian Band were part of the winning team at the first-ever Super 8 U14 International Softball Cup in Saskatoon.
Keian Banach and Sage Roberts were teammates with the Saskatchewan Prairie Selects, which is mostly comprised of Indigenous teenage boys from across the province. With four wins and two loses, the squad mercied the Saskatoon Fury Selects 12-4 in the final. Hosted by the Saskatoon Amateur Softball Association, communications manager Mark Loehndorf said the tournament was special due to the appearance of a team from New Zealand.
“It was a good chance for [players] to keep active in the middle of the summer, but at the same time get some international exposure,” he said. “New Zealand is the powerhouse in men’s softball and it’s right in the middle of the pack in women’s softball.”
In total, 11 squads competed at the event which was held Aug. 2 to 5 at multiple locations in Saskatoon. Loehndorf also noted he was impressed by the skill shown by the Prairie Selects, adding the team they beat are headed for nationals this month. Those invited to the tournament were among the top male and female teams in Saskatchewan, he said.
In order to join Prairie Selects, Banach and Roberts had to tryout for a spot earlier this year. The Selects were also brought together as the group will be eligible for the next North American Indigenous Games in 2020. Roberts, who normally plays for the Prince Albert Astros, said the Selects won every match against the New Zealanders.
“They were fun games playing against a team that travelled across the world to play against us,” he said.
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