Gisborne boys step up in NZ win

Local boys show grit in NSW Under-14 Invitation International Challenge in Sydney.

Local boys show grit in NSW Under-14 Invitation International Challenge in Sydney.

SHOW ME THE WAY TO GO HOME: New Zealand’s Corey Boocock at the ready during the New South Wales Under-14 Invitation International Challenge tournament. Boocock and Treyson Hikitapua-Wilson, also from Gisborne, played key roles in the Kiwi team’s title win. Pictures supplied
Corey Boocock
Treyson Hikitapua-Wilson

GISBORNE teenagers Treyson Hikitapua-Wilson and Corey Boocock stamped their class on the New South Wales Under-14 Invitation International Challenge in Sydney where the New Zealand boys’ team were unbeaten in winning gold.

The tournament included four teams from Australia, one from New Zealand and two from Japan, who had won eight of the 10 previous tournaments.

In contrast, New Zealand had won it only once in the seven times the country had competed.

In their last round-robin game, New Zealand beat Australia Country Gold to top the table on four wins and two draws.

“Corey played the most difficult position of shortstop, making no errors and getting a safe hit 40 percent of the time he batted,” said New Zealand manager Craig Waterhouse.

“He was third in the team on batting average and was unlucky not to make the tournament team. The two players above him on batting stats were picked.

“Treyson had an on-base percent of 39 percent — he got on base 39 percent of the time he batted. His power hitting caused a number of errors in the field.

“Treyson also fielded exceptionally well, making only one error in the whole tournament.

“Both players have a huge future in the sport.”

Against Australia Country Gold, Boocock, who played in last year’s tournament, and Hikitapua-Wilson, making his international debut, both got home. Boocock also brought home two runners.

The boys said representing their country was an amazing experience.

“It was humbling to be out on the diamond performing the haka before each game,” said Hikitapua-Wilson.

“It always attracted a lot of attention, especially from the Japanese players and supporters,” said Boocock.

Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti coaching adviser and representative age group softball coach Ray Noble was not surprised at the Gisborne pair’s showing.

“I’ve coached Corey since he was seven years old and he has always had an eye for detail in his pursuit to get better. Corey is a power batter, with a cannon of an arm, who leads in his own quiet, determined way.

“Treyson is special. He has no weakness. He has speed, he can bat for average and power, is a strong fielder with an exceptional arm and can pitch.

“He’s probably the best young talent, along with TK Reihana, that I have seen come out of Gisborne. He has a huge influence on senior games here locally even though he is only 13.”

The NZ International Softball Academy (ISA) was set up in 2007 to expose promising players to elite coaching and overseas tournaments.

“Many coaches and players have gone on to represent Softball NZ at under-19 and senior world series,” said Waterhouse.

The u14 team were chosen from players at the North Island and South Island u15 tournaments in January.

The team were coached by former Softball New Zealand chief executive and board member Hadyn Smith, assisted by former Black Sox first baseman Brian Mountford.

GISBORNE teenagers Treyson Hikitapua-Wilson and Corey Boocock stamped their class on the New South Wales Under-14 Invitation International Challenge in Sydney where the New Zealand boys’ team were unbeaten in winning gold.

The tournament included four teams from Australia, one from New Zealand and two from Japan, who had won eight of the 10 previous tournaments.

In contrast, New Zealand had won it only once in the seven times the country had competed.

In their last round-robin game, New Zealand beat Australia Country Gold to top the table on four wins and two draws.

“Corey played the most difficult position of shortstop, making no errors and getting a safe hit 40 percent of the time he batted,” said New Zealand manager Craig Waterhouse.

“He was third in the team on batting average and was unlucky not to make the tournament team. The two players above him on batting stats were picked.

“Treyson had an on-base percent of 39 percent — he got on base 39 percent of the time he batted. His power hitting caused a number of errors in the field.

“Treyson also fielded exceptionally well, making only one error in the whole tournament.

“Both players have a huge future in the sport.”

Against Australia Country Gold, Boocock, who played in last year’s tournament, and Hikitapua-Wilson, making his international debut, both got home. Boocock also brought home two runners.

The boys said representing their country was an amazing experience.

“It was humbling to be out on the diamond performing the haka before each game,” said Hikitapua-Wilson.

“It always attracted a lot of attention, especially from the Japanese players and supporters,” said Boocock.

Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti coaching adviser and representative age group softball coach Ray Noble was not surprised at the Gisborne pair’s showing.

“I’ve coached Corey since he was seven years old and he has always had an eye for detail in his pursuit to get better. Corey is a power batter, with a cannon of an arm, who leads in his own quiet, determined way.

“Treyson is special. He has no weakness. He has speed, he can bat for average and power, is a strong fielder with an exceptional arm and can pitch.

“He’s probably the best young talent, along with TK Reihana, that I have seen come out of Gisborne. He has a huge influence on senior games here locally even though he is only 13.”

The NZ International Softball Academy (ISA) was set up in 2007 to expose promising players to elite coaching and overseas tournaments.

“Many coaches and players have gone on to represent Softball NZ at under-19 and senior world series,” said Waterhouse.

The u14 team were chosen from players at the North Island and South Island u15 tournaments in January.

The team were coached by former Softball New Zealand chief executive and board member Hadyn Smith, assisted by former Black Sox first baseman Brian Mountford.

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