State honours for softballers
Thursday, 17th December, 2015
By Patrick Reincke
Two local softball young guns have been selected to represent the state for the upcoming 2016 National Softball Championships.
Sheldon Hall (23) and Evan Ferguson (17) were recently selected for the South Australian Men’s State Softball team for fast pitch softball after trialling with the squad in recent months.
Back in October, after impressing at January’s State Carnival, Hall and Ferguson were given the opportunity to train with the SA State team down in Adelaide.
For young Evan, his selection as the youngest player in the team was a bit of a surprise.
“It’s a pretty good feeling after all the travelling and trainings, but it was a bit of a shock though,” he said.
“I knew Sheldon would get in but I thought given I was a bit younger they might put me out this year.
“But surely enough, I got in and I was pretty happy.”
Racking up over 7500kms over the last two and bit months, the pair had to travel down to Adelaide on Saturday for trainings on Sunday before heading back on Sunday night for work the next day.
The selection is a great achievement after all the hard work they have put in over recent months.
“It was a whole lot of work just to make ourselves eligible to be picked in the final side,” Evan explained.
“I didn’t mind the travelling because I wasn’t driving!
“I do feel bad for Sheldon because I usually slept the whole way.”
Evan and Sheldon will be the first male softball players from Broken Hill to represent the state with only 14 months of game experience under their belts.
The pair will now prepare themselves for the upcoming National Championships at West Beach in March.
Preparation includes training over the Christmas break before reconvening with team trainings in early January and eating healthier.
“We’ll probably just be doing our own trainings and get some other Broken Hill boys to join in to make it a bit easier for us,”
“We’re on a diet and we’re on all this fitness stuff at the moment which is full on.
“We need to knuckle down on that because we need to start eating better and getting fit and ready for March.”
Playing in the National Championships will mean Evan and Sheldon will get to play against some of the Australian National team members who will be playing for other states.
One player both Evan and Sheldon are looking forward to facing is 2009 Softball Australia Male Athlete of the Year, Adam Folkard.
Folkard is Australia’s best pitcher and has been clocked at pitching 135km, Evan said he is looking forward to staring him down at the plate and maybe even cracking a home run.
“I don’t know what will go through my head if I face him,”
“I’ll face him like any other pitcher, nothing’s impossible.”
Having only taken up the game 14 months ago, Sheldon explained that both he and Evan and very thankful for John and Lesley Nicholls in getting Broken Hill Softball going.
“Many thanks must go to John and Lesley Nicholls for getting the competition up and running,” he said.
“If they didn’t get it up and running 14 months ago, we would’ve had no idea about state level selection and carnivals and all of that.
“If it was for Lesley taking us down to that carnival, Evan and I would have never gotten spotted and wouldn’t have been asked to go down and trial.”