Meet our U16 Rep Players for 2020
This week, five more of our Peninsula Players will represent the Club when the MWSA U16 Representative Team travels to George's River Softball Grounds to play in the State Championships on Nov. 28th and 29th.
From left to right, they include Gracie Tetz, Kirra Gilchrist, Emily Harrison, Ella Humphrey, and Charleigh Kemp.
The girls were selected for the team after a rigorous and prolonged trial process that ended in Canberra over the Australia Day weekend back in January. The global pandemic delayed the tournament, which was due to be played in April. It has been a stop-start process ever since, with disrupted training, cancelled warm-up tournaments, and a lot of uncertainty. At one point it looked like State might be called off altogether.
But the girls persevered and have trained hard throughout - individually and as a team. They have really come together to overcome the difficulties, and are now very excited to be heading to the Championships this coming weekend.
The girls are coached by Jannette Edgtton, head coach, along with assistant coaches Trish Fox, Rochelle Sangster, and Alli Edgtton, with Jane Barlow as Manager and Heather Bate as Scorer. The Peninsula contingent will join nine other players from the other four clubs across MWSA.
The five Peninsula girls all play in Div 1 in the MWSA Summer Competition, with Kirra Gilchrist, Gracie Tetz and Emily Harrison in the Raiders, and Ella Humphrey and Charleigh Kemp in the Rebels. Ella, Charleigh and Kirra all played together last year in the U14 Rep team as well.
All five Peninsula players - who are fourteen and fifteen years old - have had extensive experience playing Representative and Club softball, and have also been selected for regional and state teams and academies.
Gracie, Emily, and Ella have been playing softball for some 6-8 years each now, while Kirra and Charleigh are newer to the game with about three years experience each - but they have brought some natural sporting talent to the game and excelled.
Kirra, Charleigh, and Gracie are all terrific pitchers for the Rep team, while Emily and Ella provide vital firepower at the plate and cover the infield and outfield, with their preferred positions as second and shortstop respectively. When not pitching, Kirra plays third, Gracie will play anywhere in the outfield, and Charleigh loves right field.
The girls all love softball but also find time to play other sports and pursuits. Kirra plays touch footy and soccer, Ella plays netball and basketball, while Charleigh plays soccer and loves cross-country running. Emily also plays netball and loves to surf, while Gracie turns to acting when not on the diamonds.
While the lead-up to State has been long, it has also allowed the girls to bond with each other, and with the rest of the team. The girls speak warmly about their team, and how much they love playing together.
They also spoke about how they love the softball community more generally, and how it provides an important positive environment for them to learn, and to challenge themselves.
They also said they love playing Rep because it gives them an opportunity to make new friends outside Peninsula, and across different Associations. The social aspect of softball mean that the girls develop important friendships outside of school as well.
In addition to the five Peninsula players on the MWSA Rep team, at least four other Div 1 Peninsula players will also be traveling to George's River on the weekend. While Covid restrictions meant that the MWSA Development teams had to end their season prematurely, many of the girls have continued training and been picked up by different Associations to play at State too.
Pitcher Sienna Newbery will play for home side George's River, while Natasha Townley will play for Southern Districts. In addition, Natalie Perry and Kirra Wilkins have both been selected for a special invitational team at State in recognition of their hard work through the trying months of the pandemic. Natalie, Sienna, and Natasha all play for the Rebels, and Kirra plays for the Raiders.
That makes an incredible nine players altogether from our two Div 1 teams heading off to State. Well done to all!
Peninsula is very proud of all the girls who have put the time in, trained hard, and persevered through some difficult times this year. Good luck to everyone this weekend at the State Championships!