This Week in Fastball - by Dennis Dosman

November 27, 2013

Kitchener, ON

        Forwarded to me by Don Barr and from the New Hamburg        Independant....

Tuesday, November, 26, 2013 - 11:11:43 AM

Local softball players earn tryout for Team Canada

Scott Miller Cressman

Independent staff

Several local softball players will compete for a spot on Team Canada that would send them to compete against the world’s best young talent.

Last week, Softball Canada released its list of 32 players from across Canada who will attend a four-day selection camp in May 2014 for the national junior team. New Hamburg’s Tyler Randerson and Nick Penner found themselves on that exclusive list, as did Tavistock players Travis Hyde and Tyson Zehr.

Canada’s coaches will use the tryouts to pick a final team of 17 to compete at the International Softball Federation Junior Men’s World Championship from July 11 to 20, 2014 in Whitehorse, YK.

"You don’t really get this opportunity every day. You kind of want to go in and give it your all," Penner said.

This under-19 World Championship is played every two years. Last year, Mike Lagace-Roote of New Hamburg and Cody Werner of Baden played on Team Canada that finished fourth in Argentina, behind the host team, Japan and Australia.

Those two are now too old, but a new batch of local players are eager to win a spot on the new Team Canada. They’ll be facing plenty of familiar competition; half of the 32 players at camp are from Ontario, and Penner and Randerson have played against or with most of them.

At 17 years old, Randerson will be one of the younger players on the team and could be eligible again for the junior team in 2016. He’s a pitcher and also plays first base and feels his pitching arm gives him a good chance to make Team Canada.

"I feel pretty confident going in," Randerson said, but the final roster will come down to whoever performs best in the brief try outs next spring. "It’s the best 32 players in Canada… If you have a good week, you have a good chance."

Penner will be against three or four other players to be Canada’s shortstop, but he can also play any other position on the diamond. Besides, the final selections might come down to leadership and personality, not just talent, he said. He hopes some of his leadership qualities will work in his favour.

"It’s going to be really tough, but it’s also going to be really cool at least to have a try-out where everyone’s equal and everyone’s at a high calibre," Penner said.

Randerson and Penner plan to spend the winter throwing, hitting, and training indoors to stay in top shape for the May tryouts.

"It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of playing… and to know that I have the opportunity to try out for this level is really exciting. I’m really looking forward to it," Penner said.

Both Randerson and Penner played for the New Hamburg Midgets and a tournament team from Teeswater this past summer



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