Leanne Zaitsoff steadies for contact between the ball and bat

Leanne Zaitsoff steadies for contact between the ball and bat

Spring training starts for West Kootenay Rebels

The West Kootenay Rebels are getting ready for the upcoming season.

  • Apr. 11, 2014 11:00 a.m.

Derek Kaye

Rebels with a cause

The West Kootenay Rebels are getting ready for the upcoming season.

The under 14 girls team were busy batting, sliding, pitching and going through its stretches in Castlegar last Saturday.

For the players, it was their first practise of the season.

The team was just chosen and try-outs were held the weekend before.

The players are from all over the West Kootenay, including Castlegar, Trail and Beaver Valley.

The first tournment of the season is at the end of April in Kelowna.

One of the first orders of business at the practice was working on sliding.

“The girls wanted to get dirty,” said Derek Hipwell, assistant coach. “We did a bunch of in-fielding, where we were judging girls for positional play”

The team  currently has five pitchers, which is important given new rules where pitchers are allowed to throw for a maximum of three innings. The youngest member of the team, Sydney Sherstobitoff, is only eleven, but tried out for the older team because there was no team in her age group.

“That she is, and she wants to be short stop. It all fits,” said Hipwell when asked if she was the smallest player.

The goal for the season is to compete at the B.C. Provincials in the B Division in July. Last year the team competed in the  C division.

“The girls have moved up a little bit and grown up so we are hoping for more.” Hipwell said. “We are going to go meet some good competition. The girls are a big improvement over last year. I have some pretty good expectations that we will do pretty well this year.”

However, Hipwell also stressed that keeping the game fun for the girls was the real focus.

“We’re here for fun.” Hipwell said.