Trojans set to host softball championship
The SAIT Trojans women’s fastball team is hosting the Western Collegiate Softball Association (WCSA) Championship from Sept. 28 to 30.
The team is led by seasoned head coach George Edwards, the longest serving coach in the WCSA.
Edwards is no stranger to hosting championship tournaments. This will be his second time hosting the tournament with SAIT, and he is looking forward to it.
He praised the support and work SAIT has done to make this a significant event, and believes that it will forever change how teams look at hosting future tournaments.
“I’m ecstatic. I think it’s wonderful. The support from SAIT has been just phenomenal. We’re really happy and really appreciate all they’ve done for us.”
“I think that it will set a standard that the rest of the league will try and live up to.”
Edwards’ team is packed with new players. Of the 13 players on the team, there are only four returning players.
As hosts, the SAIT team will be able to play in the tournament. However, as of Sept. 14, they are struggling with a 1-11 record.
Edwards acknowledged the team’s growing pains.
Given how populated the team is with new players, a great deal of coaching has been implemented for the season and in preparation for the tournament.
Edwards said that the first-year players realize the level of play they are getting involved in, and that they have to be quicker.
“We push very hard for the girls to advance and move on,” Edwards said.
“A lot of teaching goes on.”
Edwards said that every player is learning something different, but they all learn about “feeling the ball.”
Edwards has equipped the team for success, making the girls practice every aspect of the game.
“We work on everything.”
“We work on the feeling, and their individual positions, we work on the hitting especially.”
Edwards’ coaching staff each work on specific positions.
Equal team development is an important factor in Edwards’ coaching style. He utilized ‘redshirts,’ high school players from grades 10 to 12, so that all players on the team can practice offensive and defensive strategies.
Edwards thinks the championship tournament will motivate the new first-year players, but it will take some mental endurance.
“[The team] are like thoroughbreds. They are chomping at the bit to get going, but they don’t realize what they’re getting into.”
“It can cause some considerable stress and anxiety, but they learn and adapt really quickly.”
The tournament will be held at Calgary Industrial Diamonds.