By Fred Wallace
The Softball Canada Under 19 Championship commenced last night with the " Welcome Banquet " at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre.
Today is Day 1 of the 6 days affair that I'm convinced will be highly competitive and entertaining.
Seven of 10 Canadian provinces are represented at the event ranging from British Columbia in the West with the Marlins to Newfoundland/Labrador in the East with the Selects.
The mainland Maritime provinces have the Colchester Royals & St Mary's Taymouth Tigers entered.
There are 3 clubs representing Saskatchewan; The Shellbrook Rangers, the Delisle Pride & the Saskatoon Selects.
Quebec has a provincial team in the mix, plus Ontario has a foursome of teams
The defending champion Napanee Express, the KW Twins, the host entry Belmore Sting & the Sting from nearby Shallow Lake all will compete.
Why do I think this tournament will be tightly contested ?
Two years ago, the bulk of this age group were in Owen Sound for the Canadian Under 16 Championship.
As I recall, going to the final game of the round robin 7 of the 8 entries were in contention.
In the opening playoff games, both the # 1 and # 2 seeds were defeated.
And on the final day, Shallow Lake stayed on the diamond for 10 hours before they were crowned champions
There's round robin action all day-every day through Friday followed by the elimination games on Saturday and then the Championship playdown on Sunday.
Opening Ceremonies are tonight at 6 but the excitement and drama will be well underway by then.