Crooked Tree Village Girls softball team, the Warriors, defeated Stann Creek by a score of 8-0 to capture the National Softball Championship title on Friday, April 23, 2010. This win capped off an incredible season for Crooked Tree, and is the second time consecutively that the school was able to bring home the National Trophy. Elma Wade was named the Player of the Year!!
The Master of Ceremonies was Mrs. Patrick Henry. Mr. Michael Henry, Director of Sports gave the Welcome Address and Mrs. Rosalie Gentle opened the games. The schools that participated in this year’s female championship are: Crooked Tree School (defending national female champion) representing the Belize District, Corozal Methodist School representing the Corozal District, Independence Primary School representing the Stann Creek District, St. Francis Xavier School from Esperanza Village representing the Cayo District, and representing the Toledo district Toledo Christian Academy.
It was a sweltering 92 degrees at the Rogers Stadium, a do or die day for Crooked Tree, but that did not stop the Warriors from burning down the competition.
Immediately following the opening ceremonies, Crooked Tree Warriors wasted no time to defend their title.
The first game was against Corozal Methodist, and winning pitcher Elma Wade, led off Crooked Tree with the first run, and she was followed by a flood that quickly washed away Corozal 20-0.
The second game was against Cayo, one of the best teams in the competition. The first two batters for Crooked Tree, Wade and Jex were struck out, but Jasmine Lauriano, Zepporah Taylor, and Sherelee Adolphus scattered three base hits allowing Crooked Tree to recover the first inning. In the final inning Wade and Jex fought back with a whipping to complete the game at 5-1 victory for the Warriors.
There could not have been more drama in the third game as Crooked Tree came in like lightning flashing across the sky, burning up the Toledo District 23-0.
The final game was truly a team effort by the Warriors. With bases loaded at the top of the second, Tromiesha Tillett blasted a home run against Stann Creek driving home all three bases. With their fans shaking down the fence, Zhanae Jex of the Warriors responded in kind, ripping through Stann Creek to finish the competition 8-0. Elma Wade struck out nine batters in this final game.
Elma Wade, Player of the Year "Click to enlarge"
At the end of the games, Mrs. Rosalie Gentle, CEO in the Ministry of Sports, Youth, Information, and Communication presented the National Primary Schools Softball Championship trophy and the individual ribbons to the respective winners.
Elma Wade, the winning pitcher, gave a strong pitching performance. She said, “I wasn’t tired at all, I just used my curve; I wanted to keep them guessing, and to show them that we are a force to be dealt with”.
"We really set the bar high, there was never a doubt in my mind that we were going to win today" said head coach Alden Wade. "This victory was measured in talent rather than dollars…but we really would like to thank the parents of these girls, Principal Verla Jex, teachers Winnie Gillett and George Tillett, as well as all our community, friends and supporters, they came through for us in a big way”.
Warriors Coach, Anna Gillett said, “this is incredible, they were just unbelievable! We were ready this year, our girls are a powerhouse, and we knew if anybody could do it, it would be us. We came here with only one thing on our minds, a repeat of the championship games”.
After their bus arrived in Crooked Tree Village, the Warriors victory set off a wild celebration through the roads of the village late into the night.
The coaches and teachers would like to take the team to Chetumal, Mexico for an outing on May 24th. If anyone would like to contribute to their trip, please send a small donation to the school at the address below.
Principal Verla Jex
Crooked Tree Government School, Belize District
Belize, Central America
All photos by Winnie Gillett
All photos by Winnie Gillett