Daniel Wernbacher

Daniel Wernbacher

Minor fastball hopes to grow numbers

There’s a little-known gem tucked away at the Esler Sports Complex.

There’s a little-known gem tucked away at the Esler Sports Complex.

At one point in time, years ago, more than 600 kids were registered for Williams Lake Minor Fastball.

Now, that number has dwindled to around 80 kids, admits coach and past WLMF president Tim Horsley.

“Our numbers are down but we’re still strong enough for at least two teams in each division,” Horsley said.

“What we’d like to see is more numbers for both girls and boys so we can play teams throughout the Cariboo.”

Horsley said 100 Mile House, Quesnel and Prince George all have strong minor fastball programs.

The WLMF league houses three T-ball teams (ages 4-7), two mites teams (ages 8-10), two squirts teams (ages 10-12) and three pee wee teams (ages 12 and up).

“All we need are four more girls and we could have a pee wee girls team to take to tournaments,” Horsley said.

“We’d also like to see some teams divided into girls and boys teams.”

Currently, 900 U.S. colleges and universities and 25 Canadian colleges and universities offer softball scholarships to female athletes. Horsley said there’s a great opportunity there if female athletes stick with the sport.

“There’s a good future there for females to play softball at university,” he said.

The fastball diamonds at the Esler Sports Complex are equipped with a batting cage and a clubhouse with a full concession.

Teams practice from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and also play games against each other in the time slot.

The association also hosts an annual Grade 7 tournament — scheduled this year for Friday, June 17 — where every Grade 7 in the school district spends a fun day at the diamonds participating in a tournament.

Following that, WLMF will host a fun play day for its teams on Friday, June 24.

Registration for all divisions is open until May 31, when rosters need to be submitted to Softball BC.

To register, or for more information, contact WLMF president Michelle Tenning at 250-392-6534.

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