Volume 12 Week 5

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(Updated 9:30 a.m., Aug. 16)
Local athletes, coach enjoy medal haul at Canada Summer Games

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

For Scott Searle, the sport of softball has been a lifelong passions. The St. Peter High School teacher lives and breathes the sport. His undying passion for the game has been always been shared with his students.

Earlier this month, Searle had the opportunity to showcase his coaching skills and enthusiasm for softball in his role as an assistant coach with Team Ontario at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Headingley, Manitoba which is just outside the host city of Winnipeg.

St. Peter High School teacher Scott Searle talks to Team Ontario head coach George Ryder during the men’s softball competition at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg. Photo supplied

Searle served as the team’s hitting and outfield coach in his first Canada Summer Games, which suited him just fine. His appointment as assistant coach was perfectly-timed because this summer’s games marked the return of men’s softball after not being part of the program in 2009 and 2013.

Team Ontario started the tournament with a lukewarm 2-2 record. After dropping their opening game against Saskatchewan by a 6-4 score, they bounced back to beat British Columbia 14-0. On Day 2 of the competition they followed up a 19-0 win over Manitoba with a 4-3 loss to Quebec.

But after their .500 start, the Ontario squad did not lose another contest. Team Ontario cruised to the semi-finals with wins over Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, Alberta and Nova Scotia.

The situation became interesting for Team Ontario when they had to square off against Saskatchewan, the No. 1 seed with a spot in the finals on the line.

The representatives from the Prairie province finished the qualification round in first place with a perfect 9-0 record, scoring a whopping 91 runs along the way. Team Ontario ended up 7-2 with 83 runs scored and a miniscule 19 against, earning the title of stingiest defence.

The group of 20-year-olds from all over Ontario came through with flying colours as they squashed Saskatchewan 11-1 in the 1-vs-2 game, avenging their opening game loss.

Searle watched proudly as his young, softball protégés hit a combined .383 in 11 games. But Team Saskatchewan refused to go away and ended up in the gold medal contest thanks to an 8-7 win over Quebec in a winner/loser showdown with a spot in the finals on the line.

In the gold medal game Ontario defeated the western representatives 4-1. It is the fifth time that Ontario has won the men’s title.

In other sports involving Orléans-area athletes, brothers Max and Alex St. Denis helped Team Ontario win gold in men’s volleyball; Haidar Kadhom will also be heading home with a gold medal as a member of the Ontario men’s soccer team which beat Quebec 1-0 in the final; Cairine Wilson Secondary School student Kayza Massey received a silver medal as a member of the women’s soccer team; as did Louis-Riel student Taylor Featherstone who was a member of the basketball team.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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