Ryan Parsons knows he has to throw strikes and that’s all he’s going to worry about this weekend.
Parsons, a 17-year-old Level 3 student at Stephenville High, is the pitcher for the Stephenville Spartans entry in the 2018 provincial 4A boys slo-pitch softball championships being held this weekend at Roncalli High in Avondale.
The Spartans earned the right to participate in the provincial tournament by defeating the Saint James Saints of Port aux Basques 7-1 in the final showdown at the western regional slo-pitch tournament used to determine who goes to the provincial event.
The Spartans haven’t played in the 4A tournament since 2016 when they won a couple of games but didn’t find their way to the medal round. Parsons is hoping this year’s edition can get the job done because, he says, it would be great to leave high school behind with a championship banner to show for their efforts.
Parsons likes the group he shares the diamond with and believes they have enough skill to give the other teams a good game, so he’s just going to focus on what he has to do to help the team win games.
“Just putting the ball in play and let the fielders get the out,” Parsons says, will be his focus heading into the tournament.
Parsons believes his team has some good hitters who can lead the charge, but it’s the solid defence behind him that he feels will be a big key in how they perform against the best teams on the island.
“If you don’t have good fielding you definitely won’t win a championship,” he says.
The team features five other seniors who would love to go out on a winning note, but Parsons was quick to point out that the team is only going to worry about doing its best and not worry about medals or placings.
“We’re just looking to go there and be competitive and try our best,” he says.
Having fun smacking the ball around on the diamond is all that matters for a group of guys he’s happy to chase down a championship with this weekend.