Zone 4 softball team takes bronze at Summer Games

Brooke McBurney and Victoria Derwantz are returning to Lacombe with some new hardware.

Brooke McBurney and Victoria Derwantz are returning to Lacombe with some new hardware.

At the Alberta Summer Games held in Airdrie over the past weekend, McBurney and Derwantz, as well as the rest of the Girls Zone 4 Softball Team defeated the Zone 3 team to secure the bronze medal.

Zone 4 Coach Clayton Cassidy said that the team did well considering that most of the players had not been on a team together before.

He said that coaching staff encouraged the players to develop relationships with the other players they did not know and while the team did not have deep chemistry, they were able to gel and function as a team during the tournament.

“To be honest, I don’t know if you ever get to a point where you have a ‘team chemistry,’ per se,” said Cassidy.

Both McBurney and Derwantz agreed.

“I thought we did really well considering how we had just met, for a new team,” said Derwantz.

“We did great as a team for not really knowing each other too well going into it and we just really connected over the week,” added McBurney.

Cassidy said that not only was the Zone 4 team made up of players who hadn’t played together before, it was made up of players from nine different communities who had played varying levels of ball.

He said that the teams that placed second and first were mostly made up of players from the same community who played on the same club team.

Zone 4 was made up of more younger players than the other zones as well, said Cassidy.

Given that, he and the girls were very happy with their placement.

“I would say we ended up where we should have,” said Cassidy.

Derwantz agreed. “I thought we did really well winning bronze.”

Cassidy actually said that, after seeing the talented opponents in the first game, he was a little concerned for the Zone 4 team.

However, the girls pulled together and showed that they could compete with the best Alberta had to offer.

“The first game that we played, when I saw the talent level we were up against, I thought we were going to be in trouble,” said Cassidy. “But the girls dug down and we just kept getting stronger as the weekend went on.”

McBurney was the only catcher on the team – both her coach and her teammate commented on her impressive endurance throughout the competition.

“Brooke was our only catcher, that’s a big burden in itself to have to catch all five games,” said Cassidy. “She’s a trouper. She played well and hung in there. Her hand was hurting from catching so much but she stuck with it.”

Derwantz was one of the top pitchers and batters for the team, said Cassidy.

He added she was also near the top of his batting order in each inning.

Cassidy added that, in addition to playing well on the field, both Derwantz and McBurney showed character outside their athletic conduct.

“Furthermore, outside of the way they played, they carried themselves with class,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy said this is the first Alberta Summer Games he has experienced as either an athlete or a coach.

He said that he also wanted his players to be able to experience everything the Alberta Summer Games had to offer, making sure that all players on the team got to play and enjoy the experience.

“Medals were pretty secondary,” said Cassidy. “We felt it was more about the experience and not about medaling.”

McBurney agreed. “A small part is about ball,” she said.

“It was also about meeting people from different zones and getting to know everyone.”

This was a different approach from some of the other teams there, added Cassidy.

He said that it was clear other teams were there solely to compete, with coaches playing only their strongest players and placing curfews on the teams.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

Most Read