Tsawwassen teen at the top of her game
A Tsawwassen teen will get a chance to pit her fastpitch skills against some of the world's top talent next month.
Marnie-Lynne (ML) Schneider, 16, is the only South Delta resident on the Delta Heat U-18 Rep A team, which is playing in the 2012 Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship in Surrey June 30 to July 9.
This will be the first time the South Delta Secondary School student has played in an international ball tournament. She says she has confidence in her team, which will be battling for top spot in the Futures Gold championship. The division consists of 24 elite-level youth teams from Canada, the United States, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela.
"I think we are a pretty good team, I think we definitely stand a good chance, but I guess we'll just have to see," says Schneider, a shortstop and second baseman. "Some of the teams are coming from so far away, you've just got no idea what you're dealing with."
Although this is Schneider's first time playing in the fastpitch tournament, she has been an enthusiastic audience member at the women's games in past years.
"And if the youth teams can play like the women's teams then I'm a little bit frightened," she says, noting the high calibre of play.
Schneider's athletic ability extends from the softball diamond to the soccer pitch. She is a winger with the Ladner Threat U-18 squad—a team whose accomplishments she says she's particularly proud of.
Soccer coach Raj Uppal commented on Schneider's ability to maintain a "never say die attitude" while playing within the rules of the game.
"In the years that I've coached ML in rep soccer I can honestly say she is an extremely versitaile player, having played all positions on the field for us, as well as being as tough as nails and a pleasure to coach," he said.
Schneider says having very understanding coaches helps her balance sports with her other priorities—like school, friends and art.
She still has one more year of high school and says she'd like to attend Emily Carr University of Art and Design after graduation.
"I love working with pencil," she says. "But I also enjoy painting and working with any other medium."
Despite her athletic, academic and artistic accomplishments, Schneider is kept modest by the people around her.
"There are lots of really talented people at my school. It's kind of humbling, but at the same time it's more motivation to just keep getting better at what you do."