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Feb 25, 2005

High schools compete in Softball tournament

Story PictureThey were a confident bunch, talking about winning and beating the competition this weekend. And although they come from different schools all across Belize they share a common interest: softball. Patrick Jones reports.

Patrick Jones, Reporting
Four male and four female teams are suiting up in search of national softball dominance for their high school this weekend in the annual Secondary Schools Softball tournament. Deon Sutherland is the technical coordinator of the games which are being played in Bermudian Landing.

Deon Sutherland, Tournament Organizer
?At this level it is very competitive. I mean you have young sixteen, seventeen year olds and they are agile and they just play with everything they got.?

Patrick Jones
?What has the development of the sports been like at the secondary school level??

Deon Sutherland
?Well over the years, no doubt we have seen a decline on the interest of sports. This is due to a number of factors. But we here at the secondary school, we are trying to encourage as much as possible and build on that. And what we so is we ask other associations that are involved, with these sports that after these students leave high school, to take them up and let them continue in that field.?

The games will foster discipline and sportsmanship. And while the natural talents of the boys and girls will in the end win out, International Softball Federation Umpire Joel Westby says, officiating is a key component that must not be left out of the equation.

Joel Westby, ISF Umpire
?It?s a vital importance. Because at this level you find all of these kids have worked their hearts out to be at this particular point in this game. And so as umpires, as official sin general we need to especially out on the field, we need to take our time, make sure of our calls because first we give a call. In that way it would give the appearance that we are being extremely deliberate about what we see and that we are making the right call.?

The girls from Anglican Cathedral College, representing the Central Zone, and the ladies from Independence High, representing the south, got the call in the first match of the tournament.

Kimani Smith, Captain ACC Female
?I think a good game would be good if everybody would have come to workout. But like how we win the championship, most of them barely come to workout, right, so I guess we might have a good chance of winning today.?

Beverly Vernon, Captain, Independence High Female
?I think you should expect a good game because I came ready to play today.?

There was no shortage of confidence among the players in the early goings. But things didn?t go quite as planned for either team captains in the early goings. Still Head Coach for Independence David Cardenas says he expects nothing short of a championship to take back home. How does he plan to get there?

David Cardenas, Head Coach, Independence High
?Our pitching is good. For softball ninety percent is pitching and my pitching is really good this year. So that is what I depend on. Pitching.?

And his pitcher on the male side of the competition agrees.

Kenroy Leslie
?Well we work out very hard. We work out for a month during the controversy over the country. We stay together and work together and now we are here to take out what we put in.?

Patrick Jones
?Which is the team to beat in this competition??

Kenroy Leslie
?Well, we?re trying to beat Orange Walk. They were our opponents last year for championship. We hope we could beat them this year and defend our championship.?

The games continue through Saturday afternoon at the cricket grounds in Bermudian Landing. Patrick Jones, for News 5.

The teams taking part in the competition are: Independence High, Anglican Cathedral College, Belmopan Comprehensive and Escuela Secundaria Mexico in the female division. Last year’s Champions Belize Rural High did not qualify for this year’s nationals. In the Male segment, teams representing the different zones are Orange Walk Technical High, Anglican Cathedral College, Belmopan Comprehensive and Independence High Schools.

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