© Journal Pioneer file photo
Jeff Ellsworth is back on Canada’s senior men’s fastpitch team.
ALBERTON -- The coach of the 2013 Girls Under 16 P.E.I. Scotiabank Reds Softball team is making the jump to the sport’s next level. Jeff Ellsworth was recently named coach of the 2014 Girls U18 team.
While Ellsworth, a member of Canada’s Senior Men’s squad, acknowledges there’s tons of softball talent at all levels on P.E.I., he insists preparations for next year must start now.
“In order to compete at the highest level you cannot afford to take any time off,” said the Brooklyn, P.E.I. resident.
“We ended our season in early August and the girls have had some time off now; we are now mid September and now it’s time to have ID Camps, skills evaluation testing and a couple of exhibition games to select the 2014 U18 team.”
Ellsworth coached the U16 team to a sixth place finish at the National championships in O’Leary in August. His assistant coaches from that team, Lori Ellsworth and Curt Duckworth, will be his assistants with the U18 team. Kira Duckworth will also be back as batgirl. Jordan Ellis is joining the team as manager and Kenny Gormley is on board as pitching coach.
“We have a very good management team in place ready to go to plan all the necessary steps to make it to (the 2014 Nationals in) Saskatoon in early August,” said the head coach. He noted, in addition to all the training, there will be lots of fundraising to do.
The U18 provincial team is open to all athletes who are second year bantam to 2nd year midget.
Interested players must show up at one of the ID camps unless they are away at school or out of province playing another sport. Those out-of-province athletes will need to advise the team by email of their intention of competing for a spot on the roster.
Skills testing drills and an exhibition game will also help select the final roster.