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Softball player headed to Western Canadian Championships

Although St. Paul may not offer A-level ball in the community, the area seems to breed top-quality athletes as yet another young female ball player is preparing to take part in a national tournament next month.

Although St. Paul may not offer A-level ball in the community, the area seems to breed top-quality athletes as yet another young female ball player is preparing to take part in a national tournament next month.

Emma Jackson has been playing with the Lloydminster Rebels Peewee A team for the past two seasons, and this year, she and her team will be rewarded with the opportunity to compete at the 2010 PeeWee Western Canadian Softball Championships, which are being held in Strathmore, Alta., from Aug. 5 to 8.

A few teams from Alberta, including the host team – the Calgary Kaizen – and two teams from each of B.C., Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, will make the trip to Strathmore to compete in August.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity to compete at Westerns. We’re looking forward to it,” says Emma’s mom, Debra Jackson, who is obviously very proud of her 14-year-old daughter’s accomplishments.

“It’s really exciting because we qualified to go,” says Emma, who plays back catcher, along with playing third base and out in the field, wherever she is needed.

Debra says that Emma has “risen to the challenge” that comes along with playing on a higher-level team. Emma has learned a lot, grown a lot, and always “plays with passion.” Both Emma and her mom are excited to be part of a tournament that will showcase some of the best peewee softball teams in Western Canada.

Although being part of the Lloydminster Rebels involves a pretty hefty commitment of traveling to the border city at least twice a week since April, the Jacksons are happy to fulfill that commitment. Tournaments held throughout the season also add to the commitment needed to play on an A-level team.

“It’s been busy. But it’s been a really good opportunity for her to play at that level,” says Debra.

But, so far this season, Emma and her team have found much success. The team even placed first at a bantam tournament held in Lloydminster this summer. And recently came in first at provincials, going undefeated in five games over the July 9 to 11 weekend, also hosted in Lloydminster. The team’s provincial success has meant that they will go into the Western Canadian Championships ranked as the top team in Alberta.

Since she was about four years old, Emma has shown interest in the sport, says Debra. And for the past three years, Emma has had the opportunity to play competitive ball, although she has had to work at it by trying out for the Lloydminster team last season, and again this season.

For the rest of the month, Emma will concentrate on practicing, and looks forward to travelling to southern Alberta to take part in the Western Canadian Championship tournament.



Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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