A player for Royal Flush Plumbing tries to make a play at third base during the final of the under 12 division at the 2019 Minor Softball Championships on June 8. Royal Flush Plumbing won the game and the championship after defeating Mighty Wash in the final. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Minor softball season concludes with territorial championships

“We had some good ball games out there”

The Minor Softball Territorial Championship hosted by Softball Yukon was June 7 and 8 in Whitehorse for under 12 and under 14 teams.

Michael Tuton, program coordinator for Softball Yukon, said everything went well — on the field and in the sky.

“We actually lucked out pretty good and dodged the rain both nights,” said Tuton. “I think everything ran smoothly. We had no hiccups.”

On the field, PNW Group won this year’s under 14 championship and Royal Flush Plumbing won the under 12 championship.

Tuton said the quality of play has continued to improve.

“We had some good ball games out there,” said Tuton. “The quality of the games was getting better as the weekend went on and as the season progressed.”

Players in younger divisions — under six, under eight and under 10 — wrapped up their season with a pizza party earlier this week, and the under 17 league is continued for a handful of more games.

Although the minor softball season is over, the new development program starts next week.

“We’re starting up a development program through Softball Yukon,” said Tuton. “This is an actual paid program, versus our minor program that is free to all the participants.”

The program has three different age categories and the long-term goal is to be able to field teams for major Canadian competitions.

“It’s basically to create a pool of players to look at for future games, such as Canada Games, Westerns and North American Indigenous Games,” said Tuton. “We’re just rolling right into it — our goal is to keep the kids at the park all summer and teach them the game.”

Because the bulk of the Yukon’s softball players are in the under 12 and under 14 age groups, Tuton said it will likely be awhile until Team Yukon is competing in softball.

“Within the next two years you’re going to see Team Yukon sending a softball team Outside. We have the athletes — we just have to get them ready,” said Tuton.

Looking back on the season, Tuton said the volunteer coaches really made the minor program work this year.

“We’re excited to have all the coaches that we had this year,” he said. “When you run a free league and you open your minor softball to up to 30 teams, that’s a lot of coaches you have to go and find. I thought our coaches all did a really great job this year. We really appreciated that.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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