Starting to play softball—and playing it well—at a young age, Dakoda Whitten is used to being surrounded by his seniors. That was also the case at this year’s Western Canada Summer Games in Kamloops last month.
The 15-year-old EMCS student, who plays bantam ball with Sooke as well as midget (17-19) with the Langford Lightening, was instrumental in securing bronze for the province. He was the youngest player invited to join the B.C. team this year at the games after attending tryouts in Cloverdale earlier in the year. Representatives are usually 16 and 17 years old.
“There was 100 kids or something,” said Whitten. “We all tried out for the team, and after a three-day camp the coaches picked the (B.C.) team and two months later called us and told us we made the team.”
Normally playing his favorite position as shortstop, he got picked for right field after coaches evaluated his performance during drills and simulation games at the camp.
“It was mostly arm exercises, and lots of running and stuff to get us more fit.”
During the tournament, Whitten was a hitting machine, for the most part, averaging .560. He ran into a little trouble against Manitoba.
“They kept on throwing high, and I had trouble laying off of it.”
B.C. finished third behind Saskatchewan and Alberta, respectively.
Next for Whitten is the goal of making the Canadian U19 team in three years. In the more immediate future, he’s looking towards playing FallBall, a short seasonal league that mixes up kids from all over the lower Island. Not content with sticking to one sport, the biathlete is also a soccer junkie who won district gold with the Sooke U15 team last year and will be playing U16 this upcoming season.