U14 Express undefeated at season opening tournament

Brandon Barker of the Napanee U14 Express connects on a pitch against the Springbrook Royals during Sunday's Invitational Tournament held in Napanee. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Adam Prudhomme
Editor

Only the rain could slow the Napanee U14 Express boys this weekend, who were a perfect 4-0 as the host team at an Invitational Tournament held at the Napanee Fairgrounds.

Saturday’s weather washed out their final game of the afternoon, but teams were still able to play four of the five games scheduled over the weekend’s round robin. The Express offense was rolling all tournament, which they capped with a 5-1 victory over the Springbrook Royals on Sunday.

“It was a nice summer like day on Sunday which was perfect for ball and we were able to compete and had a successful weekend,” said Express head coach Stephen Paul.

The main purpose of the tournament was to shake off the offseason rust and help get teams ready for the upcoming OASA U14 Eliminations, which will be held June 28-30 in Napanee.

“It was a great warm up for us and all the teams as well,” Paul said of this weekend’s tournament. “We had a great opportunity to see some of our competition and as we go forward throughout the season, we were excited with how well the kids played.”

The Express will now resume league play with one more tune-up tournament, June 7-9 in Innerkip, before the elimination weekend.

“It’ll be a really good test,” Paul said of the Innerkip competition. “It’ll have teams from western Ontario that are very strong and a good opportunity to see where we stand in regard to other competitors and a great opportunity to play high calibre teams with the goal of getting ready for the elimination tournament.”

-Napanee’s U19 Express paid their respects to Camden Arthur on Sunday, who passed away after a year long battle with cancer.

Last summer Arthur served as the bat boy for the U19 Express, assisting them on their way to a gold medal finish at the 2018 U19 Fast Pitch Canadians, which were held in Napanee. His name was inscribed on the Express’ Wall of Champions. The Express encourage members of the public to show their respects at the plaque leading up to the June 4 celebration of life, which will be held at the Strathcona Paper Centre at 11 a.m. The plaque, which is at the entrance to the Fairground diamonds, has become a gathering place for people to place flowers for the young boy who had such a powerful impact on the community.

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