Kelby Wittich (pictured) and Ryan Spence

Kelby Wittich (pictured) and Ryan Spence

Sooke sees softball in Saskatoon this summer

Of the 15 top fastball players in B.C., two of the young men selected for Team BC hail from Sooke.

Of the 15 top fastball players in B.C., two of the young men selected for Team BC hail from Sooke.  Ryan Spence and Kelby Wittich will be playing in the upcoming U21 Men’s International Softball Championships happening this year in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on July 9-14.

According to the Saskatoon information guide, “The 2013 U21 Men’s International Softball Championships is an event developed by Softball Canada and it’s provincial softball organizations across Canada to provide a competition for the male U21 classification to replace the Canada Games Program. This program was developed to provide a National/International caliber event to better prepare the athletes for possible future National Team invites.”

In other words, it’s an incredibly opportunity for two of our young men.

In conversation with 19-year-old Kelby Wittich, Kelby said he’s been playing for 13 or 14 years now. His father, Doug Wittich, coached “throughout my entire softball career,” and managed a ballpark. Wittich has a brother and sister, both of whom are actively engaged in baseball.

The other Sooke player, Ryan Spence, is also a well-rounded athlete.

“Ryan has played basketball for me for two years at EMCS. As well he has served as an assistant coach to both the senior boys’ and junior boys’ basketball team. Ryan comes from a fastball family!” writes Trevor Bligh, one of Sooke’s accomplished volunteer basket ball coaches. “He’s a nice kid.”

Outside of playing for Team Canada, Kelby says there are limited career opportunities in softball. He finds, sadly, that interest in the game locally is waning. The competition for young, active players is fierce.

“There are a lot of other sports to choose from,” Kelby says. This limits the number of players who sign up. Also, he notes, softball tends to be less respected than fast pitch. Which he finds unfortunate, as “fast pitch can become more of a pitcher’s game whereas softball tends to be more of a team sport.” It is the collaboration of a strong team that really appeals to Kelby.

To which his father, Doug Wittach, adds, “Though his goal is to officiate hockey at the NHL level one day, his love is ball and will always be ball.”

Regardless of the limited future, two of Sooke’s finest softball players will be heading to Saskatoon this summer to compete against teams of equally high calibre. And what the future holds for these two talented young men is anyone’s guess. Their youth, talent, and passion for team sports and leadership can serve them well.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of deceased Hells Angels prospect from Sooke to be divided between wife and secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

Sooke resident Nathan Hanson popped both his driver’s side tires on a pothole near a construction site on Sooke Road. Hanson said he was following a line of traffic and was just before the 17 Mile Pub when he drove over the pothole. (Photo contributed/Nathan Hanson)
Driver blows two tires on pothole near construction site on Sooke Road

Ministry of Transportation says keeping highways in good condition a priority

On Feb. 27, a construction vehicle remained on the site of the former encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue as part a clean-up effort. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Encampment between Pat Bay Highway, McKenzie Avenue cleared, all residents relocated

Efforts to disband encampment resumed after January fire

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Comox Valley-raised Shay Sandiford has earned a spot on the Canada skateboard team. Facebook
Vancouver Islander selected to Canada’s first-ever national skateboard team

Courtenay’s Shay Sandiford has his eye on qualifying for this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

Most Read