All the eyes at Swift Current city council were on a recent local national champion last night.
The Swift Current Prides Thunder were the lone delegation and recapped their run at the SPN National Championships in Leduc, Alberta, from August 4-6.
They went a perfect 8-0 to emerge the winners of the 20-team Men's D Division and celebrated by making their first appearance in front of council.
"We're a pretty small town and when we go to these tournaments, we play big," Prides Thunder Coach Terry Mitchell said. "We're getting to be really well known in the national and provincial circuit."
The team comprised of mostly Swift Current players with some from Moose Jaw, Regina, Kyle, and Lumsden, began a decade ago. They've won the Saskatchewan Provincial Championship in the Men's Competitive Division back-to-back years and five times in total. Their first national title came in Winnipeg in 2017.
"We're a family and we're very unified and very strong in that," he said. "We've won a lot of medals and won a lot of tournaments and we've got a lot of accolades but if we were all to sit here and say what's more important, it's the heart behind those medals and accolades."
Blaine Fehr, one of the Prides players, echoed Mitchell's comments and used Saskatchewan senior hockey as a comparison to describe how some teams in slo-pitch operate.
"The high-end teams basically pick guys up every year, it's a turnover all the time, and that's not us," he said. "We don't have that turnover, we've stuck with the same guys and built through that. There are people that have been asked to be picked off our team and they say no. If I didn't play on this team I wouldn't play anymore."
Prides is already looking forward to next season and is hoping to become the first Saskatchewan team to win the Canadian Slo-Pitch Championships.
"That's the biggest tournament you can win in this division and in slo-pitch," Mitchell said.
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