Jeff Green | Aug 30, 2012
Photo: Cole Bolton getting ready to fire one in.
Cole Bolton of Flinton, along with Taylor Brown of Centerville, who both play for the Napanee Midget Express, were among 17 players selected for the National Under 19 Softball team. The team will contest the U19 World Cup of Softball in Parana, Argentina, this coming November.
The International Softball Federation U19 World Cup of Softball is held every four years with 16 countries competing for the title.
Cole and Taylor will fly out on Oct. 25 to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for six days of training with the Canadian team, which is made up of players from six provinces. Cole was selected as one of five pitchers and will also patrol the outfield, while Taylor will play either of the middle infield positions. This accomplishment caps off very successful minor softball careers that have seen each player win 11 Provincial OASA titles and 2 Eastern Canadian Championships.
While the ballplayer itinerary is set for the tournament, the same cannot be said for Cole and Taylor’s parents, who are all keen to see their sons’ softball careers culminate in this international tournament.
Mike Bolton, who is Cole’s father and has also been the head coach of the Napanee Express for a number of years, said the two families, who are close, have been trying to arrange for airplanes and hotels for the tournament since finding out last week that both boys will be participating, but they have been hindered by language and other issues thus far.
Although Argentina is a long way from Flinton, the Boltons have been travelling for softball for over a dozen years.
“When we were kids, my wife and I both played ball in Flinton, but when Cole was ready to play there was no league here,” said Mike Bolton.
Cole played one year in Tamworth, and then started in the Napanee Express organisation when he was only eight, and trips down Highway 41 have been commonplace ever since. These days, Cole plays three to four days a week between tournaments, league games, and practices.
Cole and Taylor have both been selected as core pitchers for the National team. Cole also plays outfield and third base, and since he is a left handed hitter and a fast runner, has been the lead off man for the Napanee Express Midget team. Taylor plays all the infield positions when he is not pitching, and is a power hitter as well. They don’t know what their roles will be on the national team, but Taylor is a top ranked infielder so he will likely see a lot of action.
“The boys are both prepared for whatever comes. Whether that means playing a ton, like they do with the Express, or being role players, they will be ready,” Mike Bolton said.
He also said that Canada has a pitcher from Stratford who will be their ace, and ranks Cole, who fires the softball in the 72-75 mile an hour range, as fourth on the team’s rotation.
Canada has medaled in the last seven World Cups, going back to 1985, and took the silver medal in 2008, when the tournament was held in Whitehorse, but the powerhouse team has been Australia, who have taken the gold medal for the last four events, and will be hard to beat again this year,
When not playing baseball, Cole is a member of the Wellington Dukes in the Ontario Junior Hockey League. He graduated from NAEC in Cloyne in June and will be taking a couple of extra courses by correspondence this semester.