Cloverdale’s U11 softball team captured a gold medal and a provincial champions on Canada Day weekend.
The Fury won gold in the Supermite division for the first time in the 26-year history of the Squint Lake Canada Day Classic.
The Fury dropped their first game of the tournament against the South Surrey Thunder, but slotted wins in their next two games.
“After suffering our first loss of the entire season in our first round-robin game, the girls bounced back by run ruling the next two round-robin games going 2-1,” head coach Shannon Maion wrote in a post on cloverdalesoftball.com.
Shannon, a Lord Tweedsmuir teacher and former Softball Canada National Team member, said the girls 2-1 record plonked them into the eighth and final playoff spot.
In their first playoff game, the Fury battled against a “hard swinging” Delta Inferno team.
“Our girls were up to the challenge and swung the bats as well,” Shannon wrote.
When the Fury got to the quarters, they faced the number one seed North Langley Lightning.
“What a game!” Shannon wrote. “This game was tied 2-2 and went to ‘international rule’ where some timely hitting and great baserunning led us to the win.”
(International rule means that when a game is tied after the seventh and heads to extra innings, each team starts their half of the inning with a runner on second base.)
In the semis, Cloverdale then faced some strong pitching from South Surrey White Rock.
“Our bats were up to the challenge and we moved on to the final where we faced Abbotsford Outlaws,” Shannon added. “The Fury was firing on all cylinders and won 16-7.”
Shannon said other tournament highlights included winning the dance/cheer competition and hitting four home runs over the fence.
“A great effort by everyone involved—players, parents and coaches,” she wrote. “What a season for this young select team: three tournaments and three gold medal finishes.”
The team was so successful, they only lost one game the entire season. They started off by capturing gold in a tournament in Maple Ridge and striking gold again in Richmond.
Dean Maion, Shannon’s husband, wrote in an email to the Cloverdale Reporter that the win was “a great story for Cloverdale, but a better story for youth sport.”
That’s because Shannon decided not to allow her team to participate in the year-long Supermite league, he said. Instead, letting her girls play house to start off the softball season and allowing them to play other sports during the year.
“She felt it was detrimental to development and felt year-long training makes no sense for youth in sport,” Dean added.
“To have beaten teams that were mostly in these leagues and training models is a testament that multi-sport athletes can succeed,” he said. “We are in an age where parents feel pressure from friends as well as financially to train their kids year round in a sport for fear of falling behind. Shannon proved the theory wrong.”
Dean, a vice principal at Frank Hurt Secondary, also tweeted out two pictures after the win.
Congratulations to the U11 Cloverdale Fury proving that year round training is not needed to win a provincial title! The recipe is multi sport athletes, great coaching and supportive parents. So proud of the girls!! pic.twitter.com/BdM8ION23W
— Dean Maion (@mrmaion) July 4, 2022
“Congratulations to the U11 Cloverdale Fury proving that year round training is not needed to win a provincial title! The recipe is multi-sport athletes, great coaching and supportive parents. So proud of the girls!!”
As for the provincial tournament, the Fury won six consecutive games after dropping that first one.
“Congrats to the players and coaches of our Supermite team on their competitively played tourneys this season and ending it with another gold medal showing!” Shannon said.
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