July2015

Langley’s Stuart guides Canada to the top

July 8, 2015

Langley, BC


 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE by Steve Ewen, the Province

 

 
Langley’s Stuart guides Canada to the top
 

Head coach John Stuart has a few things to say as Canada comes back from a 5-0 deficit to beat New Zealand 10-5 and win the World Softball Championship Sunday in Saskatoon.

Photograph by: Pete Yee , The StarPhoenix

In a little over seven months, John Stuart has guided Canada to the top of the men’s fastpitch mountain.

Langley’s Stuart, who was named head coach of the senior national team in late November, led the squad to its first world title since 1992 Sunday in Saskatoon, thanks to a 10-5 triumph over New Zealand in the title tilt. New Zealand were the defending champions and Sunday marked the ninth straight worlds that they made the finale.

Canada rallied from a 5-0 deficit for the victory. Steve Mullaley, 31, an outfielder from Newfoundland, belted three home runs, including a grand slam, to key the rally.

“What does it mean? It’s hard to put into words. I’m still a little numb thinking about it,” Stuart said Tuesday morning.

He was back in town but he doesn’t have much time to catch his breath. Canada, with a similar lineup, opens up the Pan Am Games in Toronto on Sunday, taking on Mexico. The tournament runs through July 18.

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“Do we have momentum on our side? Maybe. But I’m also concerned about people being content after what happened at worlds,” he said.

“I fully expect us to medal.”

Stuart had been an assistant with the national team since 2010. Prior to that, he had been at the helm of the Vancouver Grey Sox, highlighted by guiding them to a gold medal at the 2007 senior men’s national championships.

He took over from Don Bates at the helm of the national side.

His charges in Toronto will include Derek Mayson, 31, a pitcher/infielder from North Vancouver who made his debut with the national side in 2006, and Kevin Schellenberg, 34, an infielder from Squamish.

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