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Porter Creek Senior 1 Rams Capture YSAA Softball Championship

Porter Creek Senior 1 Rams capture YSAA championship

By Morris Prokop on May 29, 2023

Photo by Morris Prokop

INCOMING! – FHC Warriors’ Keely Kovacs catches the ball while Porter Creek Senior 1 Rams’ captain Rex Natress comes into third at the Pepsi Centre in Whitehorse Thursday.

The Porter Creek Secondary School Senior 1 Rams are the Yukon Schools Athletic Association (YSAA) high school softball champs.

The Rams downed the F.H. Collins Warriors 17-7 at the Pepsi Centre Thursday to capture the high school softball crown.

The Rams got out to a commanding lead, and were ahead 13-2 going into the fourth inning.

However, the Warriors mounted a comeback, scoring the maximum five runs to make it 13-7 Rams going into the bottom of the fourth.

The Rams only managed one run in the fourth, so were up 14-7 after five innings.

The Warriors got shut out in the top of the fifth.

The Rams took advantage, extending their lead to 17-7 in the bottom of the fifth.

The Warriors then went down one-two-three in the top of the sixth and the Rams took the title.

The Star spoke with Rams captain Rex Natress following their victory.

“The team had a lot of heart. I loved how they played. When it came down to sit people, they understood, and we had an overall competitive team. I loved fitting everybody in. Everybody knew their place and it was a really fun tournament.”

The Rams won all six of their games, four round-robin and two playoffs, to capture the crown.

Natress was asked what the key to victory was for his team.

“I think the heart and soul of the team was definitely it,” he replied.

“The team probably wasn’t the best on paper but these guys worked so hard. They deserve all of it.”

Natress said the team has been together a while.

“We play in the same house league, city league baseball team, so we know each other really well. Obviously, we all go to school together, so building bonds here that will last forever.”

A little doubt about the victory did creep in for Natress, but only for a minute.

“I did start having my concerns when I heard the last one was an open (unlimited runs) inning, but I remembered Nigel (Charlie) was pitching and he’s been our ace this year. Every time he was in, he was shutting them down. He only gave up two or three runs this whole playoffs, so it was unreal.”

Jager Brown was chosen as the MVP for the Rams.

“It’s a very nice experience because this is my last year in high school. It was a good way to end the high school experience. I really enjoyed it.”

Brown said that being a team player was the key to winning the MVP award.

“Shared the ball and no complaining.”

Warriors coach Jodi Tuton said there was lots of energy and positivity shown during the tournament.

“The students had fun.”

Rams coach Brad Gustafson said, “It was great. It was a lot of fun. Some really good ballplayers for sure. They had great attitudes all day, they were super-positive, so it was a good time.

“We just batted everyone and had a few practices and we just had some good ballplayers, some good athletes and they played well today, for sure.”

Gustafson said that the tournament was a big success.

“We had ten teams this year, which is probably the most teams we’ve had, so it’s nice to see the high school softball tournament grow and grow and hopefully this will be bigger and better moving forward.

He added, “Lot of fun. It was a great day.”

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