White Rock Renegades ‘95 catcher Cheyanne Head and her teammates leave for national championships this week.

White Rock Renegades ‘95 catcher Cheyanne Head and her teammates leave for national championships this week.

Renegades prepare for national championships

Bantam squad heads to Winnipeg, while peewee team will play in Ontario

For White Rock Renegades coach Chuck Westgard, national softball championships are old hat – after all, he led his old Renegades ’91 team to a Canadian-record four national titles.

But, the veteran coach insists the trip to the Canadian showdown never gets tiresome. Good thing, because he’s headed there again this week with a new team, the bantam-aged White Rock Renegades ’95.

“It never gets old – never. I’m already starting to get pumped up for this one,” said Westgard, Softball BC’s reigning coach of the year, last week.

“We’ve won four times with the ’91s, but this is a different team now, and I know the girls are really excited.”

The 1995-born squad left Monday for Winnipeg, host city for this year’s bantam tournament, which runs Aug. 17-21.

In addition to the Renegades ’95, one other White Rock squad, the Renegades ’97, will also be battling for a national title. The ’97s – coached by Mark Dunlop – also left this week for Vaughan, Ont., where they’ll take part in peewee nationals.

Both teams qualified for Canadian championships after second-place finishes at provincials last month. One Renegade team has already captured a national championship – White Rock’s senior ‘A’ squad won earlier this month in Montreal, to make it two straight senior titles.

Westgard’s group with be the No. 2 B.C. seed – the Delta Heat, who beat the Renegades in the provincial finals, are No. 1. He expects his team will be among three of four teams with a legitimate shot at the title.

Delta, he said, will be a contender, as will two Ontario teams – Ajax and Brantford.

“And we play the two Ontario teams in our first two round-robin games, so we should know how we stack up pretty quick,” Westgard said. “It’ll be a tight tournament, for sure, but we’ll be in the mix.

“I think we stack up well against anybody.”