A red hot Boyer GM U12 Napanee Express team will host the OASA Squirt Provincials this weekend at the Napanee Fairgrounds.
They’ll enter the double knockout tournament undefeated in 25 games against U12 rep teams this year, having claimed the top spot at the Eastern Ontario Regional Qualifier late last month. That finish placed them in the ‘A’ division for this weekend’s provincials, matching them against the top U12 teams from both the eastern and western corners of Ontario.
“We’ve had a really good season and been successful in all the tournaments and games we’ve played throughout the year and certainly the team is excited about the opportunity to play provincials here in Napanee,” said Express head coach Stephen Paul. “It should be a great weekend.”
Napanee will open the tournament tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. against Brussels. Just prior to first pitch will be the opening ceremonies at 10:45 a.m.
A win advances them to a 3 p.m. showdown against the winner of the Drumbo and Bridgenorth game, which also gets underway at 11 a.m.
Rounding out the ‘A’ division will be New Hamburg, Springfield, Tweed and Chatsworth. The Express have crossed paths these teams at various tournaments throughout the summer.
“We made it to the finals of a tournament (in Innerkip), but unfortunately the final was rained out,” recalled Paul. “We were playing New Hamburg in that championship game so we certainly expect that will be a strong team that we’ll face this weekend.”
If both teams win their first two games, they would meet at 7 p.m. on Saturday with a chance to settle that score. The winner of that game would advance directly to Sunday’s 1 p.m. final with a double life.
“It’s been some time since Napanee has hosted a squirt boys tournament,” said Paul. “It’s really the first time for most of our players to have the chance to play in a championship right here at home. We know it’s going to be a great tournament for those in attendance to watch because there’s a lot of strong teams coming, particularly from western Ontario.”
Representing the home team will be Ty Kemp, Gavin Brooks, Ethan Sutcliffe, Jackson Colazio, Anthony Nugent, Finn Fisher, Derek Li, Jack Madden, Brandon Barker, Luke Paul, Will Myers and Holden Breault. Paul’s coaching staff is made up of Bill Madden, Mark Kemp and Dave Nugent with manager Sara Sutcliffe.
Along with the ‘A’ division, Napanee will also host the provincial championship for the ‘B’ and ‘C’ levels at North Fred as well as the Fairgrounds. That bracket will be made up Bridgenorth’s second entry, Norwich, Havelock, Baden, Tavistock, Oshawa, Kitchener/Waterloo, West Carleton and Westport.
This weekend’s tournament will be the third and final major event hosted by Softball Napanee this summer.