In the wake of a remarkable season, the Lacombe Matrix U13C team topped it off by landing a silver at last month’s Softball Alberta Provincials.
Held in Leduc, the event ran July 28-30.
“There were 10 teams that attended,” said Coach Greg Heber. The team’s other coaches are Amy Sim and Angie Sydenham.
“We played four round-robin games, and went into the semi-final game, and the gold medal game — and we ended up losing by one,” he said.
As mentioned, it’s been an outstanding season for the team.
“We won all of our games except for one where we tied,” he said, adding that seeing the tremendous growth in the girls over the season has been inspiring.
“The confidence level from the beginning of the year to the end — the growth was huge.
“Seeing them progress and become a unified team — it gives me goosebumps just talking about it because you could see them expand (in their roles) and just do amazing things,” he explained.
In the meantime, Heber would encourage youth to give Lacombe girls’ softball a try.
They might just be surprised at their own potential for the challenges of the game, he noted.
“The biggest thing is just to try. If you have any inclination, you can just try it out. In the Association, we also have rec teams where it’s just about playing for fun. And then you have the more competitive teams.
“A couple of years ago, we had some players who were more on the ‘rec’ side and now they are more competitive players. So you can make that switch.
“Just because you are not there right away doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to get there,” he said.
“I love the fulfillment of seeing them become better players; to see their skill levels (increase) is unbelievable. And really, all of us coaches — we’ve had conversations about it and our biggest philosophy is to see them improve.
“It’s been amazing to see them excel from the beginning of the season when we sat down with them and we made some goals. One of their goals was to make it to provincials,” said Heber.
“Then, we found out we were going to make it to the provincials, so we sat down with them and said, ‘Let’s come up with some more goals for when we are at provincials’. They had a list of about 20 different goals, and one of them was to win a medal.
“So to have been able to achieve that — of winning a medal out of the 10 teams — that is a huge pat on their backs.
“I am so proud of them, they played their hearts out.”