Maple City Slo Pitch team. (Photo courtesy of Jordan Sinclair)

Local slo-pitch team heading North of 60

Tournaments aren't new to the players on Maple City.

The team is an amalgamation of two local Chatham-Kent teams and playing in tournaments is what they do. Normally, they go to Dorchester, but this year they are going just a wee bit further.

"I have a childhood friend and I've gone up to visit her in the Yukon, and last year she reached out to me and was like 'hey, would your ball team be interested in coming and playing in this huge tournament we have it's called the Dustball,'" said Maple City teammate Jordan Sinclair.

"I didn't think I would get buy-in because it is such a long way away and such a commitment. But surprisingly I brought it up to the team and instantaneously everybody was like that would be so fun and the rest is history."

14 players will take the six to seven-hour flight to Whitehorse on Thursday to play in the Dustball Tournament that runs till Sunday. The Dustball bills itself as the biggest slo-pitch tournament north of 60 and Maple City is the only team from Ontario.

"My understanding is there are some Yukon teams, of course, a couple from BC and a couple also from Alaska which is pretty cool," said Sinclair. "We have high hopes for the tournament...we feel like we are a pretty good team. But we really have no idea what the competition is like up there, so it will be a surprise... which is kinda fun in and of itself, 'cause around here you get to know all the teams, so you kind of know what to expect."

Maple City also has a few new additions making their debut in Whitehorse. Ten of the 14 teammates are from the original Maple City team. But the additional players have a special connection to the team.

"[It's] mostly family members who wanted to come on the trip, so we put them on the roster so they can participate as well," explained Sinclair. "A couple of our moms... they used to play ball when they were younger. My mom in particular has been practicing, playing catch with my dad every day to warm up and it's pretty cool to see her excited."

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