L’ARDOISE: One email and a massive amount of effort were all that stood between Temeka Stevens and a place on the Baseball Nova Scotia 16U Nova Scotia Girls Team. Stevens supplied the effort, and coach Brandon Guenette came through with the email.
“I went to two tryouts, and they sent an email to my dad,” Stevens told The Reporter last week. “I was actually out playing baseball when he got the email.”
Baseball Nova Scotia is fielding two 16U female teams this summer, and Guenette was happy to offer Stevens a spot. Stevens said she was overjoyed to earn a place on the squad.
This isn’t the first time she’s played for a provincial team, as she cracked the line-up of the U14 team years ago. Finding a place on the U16 squad was tougher, as she tried out last year but was unable to make the cut.
All things considered, not making last year’s team might have lit a fire under Stevens that pushed her to work even harder, she noted.
“It gave me a lot of motivation to go, do my best, and prove I’m better than what I showed last year,” she said.
“I was just so happy when I learned I made the team. I couldn’t believe it.”
She said the tryouts gave her a chance to show her skills, but the camps were also an opportunity to get a feel for the 16U team and Coach Guenette.
“I went to a couple of the camps, and the field tryout went really well,” she said. “It was a two-day thing. The first day, we did four hours of training and the second day we did three hours of training.
“They try you out in different positions to see what your strengths are, your potential, and then they switch you based on where they think you’d do best. They ask you where you typically play, and if they think you’d do better there, they move you.”
In terms of position, it seems Stevens will be pitching and playing second base for the provincial team, but playing third base may also be an option.
While playing for the provincial team is a big commitment, that’s not the only place she’ll be playing ball this summer.
With the absence of an Under-18 team in Richmond, Stevens has decided to head toward the east side of the island to hit the field.
“I’ll be playing with the AA team in New Waterford for the Bluenose League and New Waterford’s AAA Little League team,” she said. “These will be all boy teams, except for me, so we’ll see how that goes. Once I fit in, everything should fall into place.”
With that, Stevens will also be helping out youngsters by coaching T-Ball in St. Peter’s.
“I just want to help out kids and show them a thing or two, because you can do anything if you set your mind to it,” she said. “That’s what I want to show them.”
Stevens will be a busy girl this summer, but she also has some big things coming up in March of 2019. When playing ball in Sydney last year, she was scouted by representatives of Sydney Minor Ball who are putting together a team to attend the Canada/Dominican Republic Goodwill Tour.
As a result, Stevens is 10 months away from playing ball internationally.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity,” she said.