SPHS Male Softball team defends championship at Northern Softball Regional championship
Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
San Pedro High School (SPHS) hosted the 2017 National Secondary School Sports Association (NSSSA) Northern Softball Regionals on Friday, March 10th and Saturday, March 11th. In a total of eight matches played at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex, high school teams fought for a chance to represent the North at the anticipated NSSSA National Softball Championship. At the end of the tournament, the SPHS male and the Belize Rural High School (BRHS) female softball teams emerged as champs of the North.
Official opening ceremonies were held on Friday at 2PM. Master of Ceremonies Alex Nuñez welcomed the softball teams, coaches, officials, and fans to the tournament, while introducing the softball teams: SPHS male and female, BRHS, Orange Walk Technical High School (OWTHS) male and female, Corozal Community College (CCC) male, Belize High School of Agriculture (BHSA) male, and Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM) female.
After a prayer and the National Anthem, Principal at SPHS Emil Vasquez gave a brief welcome address, encouraging the teams to showcase their best skills. Hector “Tito” Alamilla, Sports Councilor of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), spoke to the teams about good sportsmanship, wishing them the best of luck. Gilbert Cummings, Vice-president of the NSSSA, then acknowledged defending champs, ESTM female and SPHS male softball team, and declared the games opened.
Shortly after 2:30PM, the first games of the day began with the female division. SPHS females took on BRHS in a tight match. Both teams played well, but SPHS girls fell short and lost 23-21. The male division played in the second match with SPHS facing OWTHS. With much experience and preparation, the SPHS boys easily won OWTHS 13-2.
Defending champions, ESTM girls were matched against OWTHS. ESTM took a good lead over OWTHS, and won 17-10. In the last game of the evening, CCC won against BHSA 18-15.
The second round of competition was held on Saturday at 9AM. SPHS girls and OWTHS girls played for third place. Although they missed the opportunity to take first place, SPHS girls’ made a fierce comeback and beat OWTHS 17-7. BHSA then faced OWTHS males played for third place, falling short 14-7 to OWTHS.
The final two games would declare the champions. Fans from the different schools, including San Pedro, cheered loudly as BRHS took on the team from ESTM. During the female championship game, BRHS girls easily took on the girls from ESTM. ESTM girls were no match for BRHS, and the game ended in a final score of 14-1, in favor of the new champions: Belize Rural High School.
The last game of the evening for the male championship. SPHS boys were ready to defend their title against CCC boys, hoping to represent the island in the upcoming Nationals. This was the most anticipated game of the day, and fans shouted their support. SPHS showed their skills and hard work, easily defeating CCC 14-4. The SPHS boys and their loyal fans loudly celebrated their repeat victory.
The tournament officially ended with an awards ceremony. Each team captain received a team trophy, SPHS girls and OWTHS boys received third place medals, while ESTM girls and CCC boys received medals for second place. BRHS girls and SPHS boys were presented with both medals and a first-place trophy for winning the competition.
Outstanding players were given individual awards. Keena Pott (BRHS) and Angel Jose Navidad (SPHS male) won for Batting Champion; Indyra De La Fuente (OWTHS female) and Antholyn Vellos (CCC) won Best Outfield; Selena Banner (BRHS) and Javon Carrillo (BHSA) won Best Infield; Keena Pott (BRHS) and Lester Gamez (SPHS) won Most Wins; Britney Bijil (SPHS female) and Isaul Coba (SPHS male) won Most Run Batted In; Ada Cordova (SPHS female) and Alrick Quan (CCC) won Most Stolen Base); and Arumy Campos (ESTM) and Lester Gamez (SPHS male) won Most Strikeout.
Lester Gamez (SPHS male) won Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the male division for 16 strikeouts, three wins, and three runs batted in, and Keena Pott (SRHS) was awarded female MVP for eight strikeouts, most wins, three run battled ins, and having a batting average of 1.0.
SPHS, Physical Education and Sports Department, Administration and staff thanks the many institutions, organization and individuals who made this competition a success, and for their continued development of Secondary Schools Sports. Thank you NSTA, Bowen and Bowen Limited, Crystal, Sol, San Pedro Town Council, Rosi Lara, and Marion Mejia.
The BRHS female softball team and SPHS male softball teams will be representing the north at the upcoming NSSSA National Softball Championship Tournament on Friday, March 17th and Saturday, March 18th in the capital city of Belmopan. The San Pedro Sun congratulates the SPHS teams for an excellent tournament, and best of luck to the SPHS boys at the National Tournament.