Langley Rebels pumped about Canadian Open

Starting July 17, the Langley Rebels will be carrying the community banner in South Surrey and Cloverdale.

The 17 and 18-year-old girls make up the only softball team from Langley participating in the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship.

The Rebels are in the Futures Select Division along with a host of other B.C. squads including the Cloverdale Fury 96, Cloverdale Fury 97, Coquitlam Classics 96, Coquitlam Pitch Black, Fleetwood Force 97, Nanaimo Breakers, North Delta Sunfire 96, Parksville Rage, Poco Ravens, South Delta Invaders 97, South Surrey Thunder 97, Surrey Storm 96, Surrey Storm 97, and Surrey Storm 98.

Rounding out the Futures Select division are the Estevan Elite 96 from Saskatchewan and a trio of Washington State squads: Seattle Spicec Heat, Washington Acers NW (from Auburn, Wash.,) and Washington Nitro (from Woodland, Wash.).

While the Canadian Open – which includes the Women’s International and Elite, Futures (U19) and Showcase (16 & under) divisions – gets started this Friday, July 11, the Futures Select championship runs from July 17 to 20.

Led by coaches Rob Komorowski, Vic Kaay, and Ron Adams, the Rebels players include Nicole Braun, Melanie Mullin, Cassidy Komorowski, Nicole Bolton, Emma Bolton, Shelby Moon, Aisha Kaay, Jaden Carson, Caitlin Belz, Maddy Rogerson, Sarah Bourlet, Sarah Schwagele, Brooke Deakin, and Olivia Lamirande.

As a warm-up for the Futures Select tournament, the Rebels earned a bronze medal at the midget rep B provincials in Abbotsford.

Rebels manager and fundraising coordinator Shannin Pinnette said the team started its season slowly and “definitely picked up towards the end, that’s for sure.”

This was the Rebels first medal at the provincials.

“It will give them a good amount of confidence,” Pinette said. “They are feeling good and are excited.”

As for the team’s strategy going into this high level tournament, Pinette said, “We’ll take it one game at a time and play the best we can.”

Coach Ron Adams said the Rebels basically “had to start from scratch” with a handful of newcomers joining the team.

“I’d like to see us finish at .500 [at the Canadian Open],” Adams said. “This is a big tournament but I have a lot of confidence in the girls. Preferably, I’d like to see us finish top three.”

The Rebels are pumped about playing in the Canadian Open.

“Everybody’s excited going into it,” Adams said. “We promised the girls last year that we’d go into this year. It’s such a great tourney and I feel we have the skill set to do well.”

Pinette said the Rebels are looking forward to not only playing in the Canadian Open, but watching some of the highest level fastpitch in the world.

The Women’s International Championship which runs July 15-21 features some of the world’s elite national teams from the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Mexico along with the NJCAA All Stars, Basque Country (Spain) and the host White Rock Renegades.

“We’re definitely looking forward to watching high level games,” Pinette said. “It’s a great experience being able to watch a higher level and learn from watching the older players.”

The tournament is being held in three locations: Softball City at 2201 148th Street in South Surrey, Cloverdale Athletic Park at 6330 168th St., and Sunnyside Park at 15455 26th Ave in South Surrey.

The Rebels’ open their tournament next Thursday, July 17 when they take on the Estevan Elite 96. Game time is 1 p.m. at Softball City.

It’s one of two games that the Rebels will be involved in that day. At 3:30 p.m. at Sunnyside Park, they will face the Cloverdale Fury 97.

The next day, Friday, July 18, the Rebels return to Cloverdale Atheltic Park to face the Surrey Storm 96 Select at 3:30 p.m.

Five hours later, at 8:30 p.m., the Rebels will face the North Delta Sunfire 96 at Softball City.

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