By Nikki Jamieson
Southern Alberta Newspapers
The Coaldale Lady Bandits Girls softball team made their first appearance at provincials this past weekend.
The Bandits were started up in 2016, and operates in two age categories — U12 and U14.
Bandits head coach Brett Farncombe said the team was started up due to an interest in girls’ sports in Coaldale, and organizers worked with the Coaldale Baseball Association to start the softball program.
Although the Bandits are a fairly young team with only three years in existence, the Bandits U14 team had a chance to represent the program at the 2018 provincials.
“It took us a couple of years to become competitive, so this is our first year at competitive ball,” said Farncombe. “I think the girls are very excited about going up to provincials. They’re a young team, composed mostly of 13-year-olds, so this would be a good chance to see what they can do not only this year, but next year too.”
With Lacombe — located north of Red Deer — being a roughly 4 hour and ten minute drive from Coaldale, the tournament was the furthest the team has travelled to play softball, as the team plays the majority of their games around Lethbridge and Milk River.
Although the players are excited to compete, they were also a little nervous for their first provincial softball tournament.
“This is their first time going to something of this magnitude; a provincial championship is a big deal, especially for a small Town of Coaldale (team),” said Farncombe. “We expect to compete, we expect to do well, and we expect to learn. I would say that’s probably the biggest thing, is that we expect to learn and see what competitive provincial ball is all about.”