Final Wrap Up 2008 Vancouver Challenge

July 28, 2008

Vancouver, BC

Vancouver, BC

The 7th Annual edition of the Vancouver Challenge Mens FP tournament concluded this past Sunday afternoon, with the host Grey Sox defeating the Pueblo, CO Bandits in the final game by a score of 4 - 0.  This year's tournament proved to be another success.  Over the course of 3 days the consistent large crowds of fastpitch enthusiasts were treated to some high quality team and individual performances.  Mother nature also cooperated throughout the event with seasonable summer temperatures at South Memorial Park, and despite a forecast for rain on Sunday, weather was a non factor throughout the weekend. 

The final order of finish was as follows:  Champions - Vancouver Grey Sox, Runner Up - Pueblo, CO Bandits, 3rd - Bakersfield, CA Taylor Farms Lumberkings, 4th -Horse Lake, AB Thunder 5th -Camrose, AB Fury, 6th - Vancouver South Hill Giants, 7th - Vernon, BC DC Arrows, 8th - Portland, OR DeMarini.
Individual game scores with details have been posted via Al's site and are also contained with our team website.
As well with the victory the Grey Sox have qualified for the 2009 ISC World Tournament in Quad Cities, set for August 14 - 23, 2009.
Individual Tournament Awards
Top Hitter - Scott Galenza, Camrose Fury, 10/12, .883, 5RBIs
Top Pitcher - Max Montero, Pueblo Bandits, 2W/1L, 19IP, 31Ks, 1.84ERA
MVP - Brian Ree, Vancouver Grey Sox, 8/14, .571, 2 HRs, 6RBIs

Tournament Highlights:

* A very committed and dedicated volunteer group who worked long hours to execute the event.  To the many people who staffed the gate, concession area, beverage gardens, groomed the fields etc. sold 50 /50 tickets and did everything possible to make the event happen we extend a special thanks. Also kudos to George Morneau (father of Justin Morneau - Minnesota Twins) who once again went out of his way to assist the event in any way possible including personally selling 50/50 tickets.

* Once again very large crowds on each day, reminding us what makes being at the ball park so special on a nice summer's day.

* A good balanced field of teams, who for the most part were evenly matched and used the event as a final tune up prior to the ASA, ISC World Tournament and the Softball Canada Senior Mens FP Nationals.

* An excellent and cooperative crew of umpires whose commitment to the sport was so evident and very much appreciated.  Led by tournament UIC -Bob Henning, who successfully assembled and coordinated a very experienced, skilled crew of umpires from many parts of North America and the World.  The tournament umpiring crew consisted of the following; Bob Henning (Surrey, BC), John Ribalkin (North Vancouver, BC), Michael Track (Richmond, BC), Tim Lederman (Coquitlam, BC), John Irvine (Edmonton, AB), Rick Leche (Cloverdale, BC), Frankie Billingsley (Edmonton, AB), Al Strang (Richmond, BC), Ricco Powers (Victoria, BC), Don Martin (Coquitlam, BC), Ron Brinkman (Appelton, WI), Greg Pohl (St. Louis, MO), Dan Young (Surrey, BC), Kevin Wallace (Shipman, IL) and Patricia Hamamato (Sao Palo, Brazil) 
* A very fitting and appropriate ceremony to recognize Tom "The Colonel" Yipp, a dedicated and long serving individual who has given freely of his time and efforts for the betterment of the game in the Lower Mainland of BC.

* A talented crew of statiscians and scorekeepers who maintained the game records and shared them with the softball world in an expeditious manner via the tournament website and Al's Fastball List and Fastpitchwest.
* Sincere thanks to our partners South Hill Sports Association for co - operating the event.  As well of course to our participating teams, 5 of which were first time visitors to the Vancouver Challenge.  Special acknowledement to the Pueblo Bandits, California Lumberkings, Vernon Arrows, Camrose Fury and the Vancouver South Hill Giants for their first time participation.  As well thanks to Portland DeMarini and the Horse Lake Thunder for continuing our ongoing partnership by returning to Vancouver and playing in this event.
The 8th Annual Edition of the Vancouver Challenge will proceed in 2009, but will require a change from its traditional date of the last weekend in July, due to the 2009 ISF Mens World Championship being conducted in Saskatoon, SK from July 17 - 26.  Watch for a more formal announcement to come from us in the weeks ahead confirming the weekend chosen for the 2009 Vancouver Challenge. 
Larry Kancs
Vancouver Grey Sox