Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Batter up

Pontiac sluggers play for Team Quebec in Canadian Fastpitch Championship

Connor Lalande
Pontiac August 29, 2023
Years of hard work and dedication culminated in an unforgettable experience for two Pontiac athletes this summer.
Cade Kuehl of Shawville and Hunter Beauregard of Campbell’s Bay are 16 and 17 respectively, but you could be forgiven for thinking that they were much older. Carrying themselves with a kind of quiet confidence, the two speak like polished professional athletes, providing measured and thoughtful comments on their experiences. Both are seasoned softball players whose talents landed them on the U20 Team Quebec at the Canadian Fastpitch Championship this August.
Playing with and against athletes often years older than themselves, Kuehl and Beauregard had the opportunity to showcase their talents and prove that they belonged amongst the province’s best up and coming players.
Kuehl, a catcher, and Beauregard, a shortstop, made the most of their opportunity. Endearing themselves to the teams’ coaches and players with their athletic prowess, refined skill set and affable attitudes, the pair excelled under the pressure of the increased exposure.
“It was a cool experience. The team really welcomed us with open arms. I think for us both it was nice to be able to compete and actually do well against people that are two or three years older than us,” said Beauregard.
“It’s not foreign for us to play with guys that are older, but these guys were the top of the top, so it was pretty cool,” added Kuehl.
The Canadian Fastpitch slugfest – so to speak – took place in Napanee, Ontario from August 15 until August 20, and while team Quebec didn’t end up coming home with the gold medal they would have hoped, Kuehl and Beauregard say that the experience itself was one to be celebrated, regardless of the outcome.
“I think the biggest thing for myself was just trying to be on a level where we were competing and we were helping the team. And I felt like myself and Cade were both up there. We were definitely contributing to the team,” said Beauregard.
Both Kuehl and Beauregard say this is just the beginning and that the experience on Team Quebec has only added to their athletic aspirations.
“We’ve both talked about it, and Team Canada is our ultimate goal,” said Kuehl.
“That’s definitely something that we’re gonna’ have to work for,” said Beauregard. “Now that we have been exposed to it, I don’t think it’s off the table. It’s something that can be attained, but you have to put in a lot of time and effort, and just focus on honing your skills.”
Reflecting on the ways one’s upbringing influences the merits of one’s character, the pair of local athletes says that they feel lucky to have grown up in the Pontiac – a region with an enduring legacy of hardworking, industrious people.
“Coming from small towns in the Pontiac, there’s a lot of hardworking people and so your kind of shown how important it is to put effort into what you do,” said Kuehl.
With a love of where they came from, Kuehl and Beauregard give due credit to those who made their journey possible.
“We just want to say thanks to everyone that helped us along the way: Matt Greer gave us a big hand in helping us get where we’re at, the coaches and players on Team Quebec who supported us and really all the people who came out to watch our games and cheer us on,” said Beauregard.

Hunter Beauregard, a 17-year-old from Campbell’s Bay, is one heck of a batter. Beauregard, along with Shawville’s 16-year-old Cade Kuehl who played catcher, played for Team Quebec in the U20 Canadian Fastpitch championship in Napanee, Ontario this August.


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