Getting the rackets and bats ready

With increased numbers, Humboldt Girls Softball is looking forward to a successful season on the diamonds.

As of last week, the organization had 106 players registered. There are 10 teams this season.

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“It has slowly grown the past few years,” Humboldt Girls Softball president Shawna Welder wrote in an email interview. “It was probably about half that size five years ago. I think our growth has come from a combination of things: lots of new, younger families in town and girls seeing their friends playing and having fun so they join too … We are also seeing a few registrations from nearby towns where they don’t have enough girls to form a team.”

In order to accommodate this growth, Humboldt Girls Softball will be doing some fundraising. The organization has purchased a lot of new equipment. As well, it needs a storage facility. Welder said Humboldt Girls Softball has also been with working with City of Humboldt on options for more diamonds to play on, especially for the young age groups.

Seven Humboldt Girls Softball will play in the North Central Softball League. The local organization has two teams in bantam/midget, peewee, and squirt divisions. There is one mite squad. There will be two tee ball teams that will combine practices and play mini games against each other. In addition, the toss ball team plays in minor ball against boys. Three of the older teams will represent Humboldt at provincials. Last season, the Squirt team won silver at the “C” provincials.

Humboldt Girls Softball has implemented the Learn to Play program.
“It is a revolutionary program that teaches kids a way to improve their softball skills while still having fun. Softball Sask came out to Humboldt and did an orientation for parents and coaches to teach them how to teach children the basics,” wrote Welder, who noted that more than 20 parents and coaches attended.

Humboldt Girls Softball had a pitching clinic in March and a skills clinic for older players in early May.  Last year, a coaches clinic was held and, if there is interest, the organization will look at hosting one next season.

Results involving local squads last week in the North Central Softball League included: Humboldt 2 Midget/Bantam 6, Middle Lake 5; Humboldt 1 Midget/Bantam 25, Kelvington 4; Humboldt 1 Peewee 19, St. Brieux 1; Watrous 1 Mite 5, Humboldt Mite 2; and Muenster Midget/Bantam 11, Kelvington 1.

Junior Badminton
The junior badminton teams from the Humboldt Collegiate Institute  (HCI)and other area schools wrapped up their seasons recently at district tournaments.
In boys doubles district play in Foam Lake, Rylan Marianchuk  and Dylan Larson fell in the finals to Troy Martinka and Cole Smith from Middle Lake.

“The games were close (only two-point differences), and could have went either way,” wrote Ashley Lepitzki, who coaches the HCI junior team with Shawna Meyers, in an email interview. “Excellent rallies, intense focus, great teamwork, and minimal mistakes meant that Rylan and Dylan won the silver.”
At district play in Humboldt, there were six pools of competitors from schools including Foam Lake, Middle Lake, Lake Lenore, Strasbourg, Kelvington, Wakaw, Englefeld, Cudworth, Wadena, Muenster, and St. Brieux.

HCI’s Morgan Gobeil and Englefeld’s Cael Zimmerman waged an impressive battle. Zimmerman eventually was able to come out on top.

“Despite breaking a string and playing with a backup racket, Morgan played an incredible final game,” Lepitzki wrote. “It was full of exciting rallies (often ended by powerful smashes from Gobeil), and pushed to three sets, but ultimately Cael prevailed. The gym was absolutely silent as these two amazing athletes battled; what’s even more remarkable is that Morgan spent all weekend at the intense Kelly Bates football camp here in Humboldt, and still was able to find strength and stamina to win the silver.”

Lepitzki noted that HCI’s Seth Schuler also competed and showed “awesome defensive skills, and clear concentration in placing the birdie effectively.”

In girls singles, Englefeld’s Brooke Muller beat Muenster’s Jenay Varga. Lepitzki said HCI’s Clea Parsaligan “played well all day, with epic drop shots, great tips, and a calm demeanor, all while overcoming an ankle injury. “

In mixed doubles, the St. Brieux duo of Jan Mark Rosalin and Paige Daubenfeld won gold. Wadena’s Leevi Sowa and Brittany took home silver.

HCI had strong outings in mixed doubles from Mitchel Rorhke and Madison Mueller, and Jenna Giddings and Elgin Yturralde.

“Good communication helped overall, as well as powerful back-row smashes from the gentlemen, and quick front-row defense from the ladies,” Lepitzki wrote.

Also playing for HCI this year were Joel Benmoshe, Okechukwu Okeay, Blaze Joa, Timmy Bagui, Braydon Bentley, and Assad Durajhe.

“(They) all dedicated so much time and effort to improvement this season, and worked tirelessly at practices with constant enthusiasm,” Lepitzki wrote.
The district champs in girls doubles were Mikayla Farrell and Leah Halyk from Foam Lake.

In the Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League’s Midget AA Division, the Humboldt Dodgers are undefeated, as of May 10. The 6-0 Dodgers picked up a pair of wins on May 9. They beat the White Butte Broncos 12-6 and 13-1.
The Muenster Red Sox are 2-1 in the SPBL’s Midget AAA Division. The Red Sox suffered their first SPBL loss of the season when they fell 4-3 on the road to the Saskatoon D-Backs. Saskatoon scored first and Muenster was able to find ways to answer – until the D-Backs got a run across in the bottom of the seventh. Adam Gerwing led Muenster with three hits and two runs bats in. Nick Anderson, Carter Frerichs, and Thomas Lessmeister all saw time on the mound for the Red Sox.

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