Blessed indeed. The Blessed Sacrament Yellow Jackets bantam girls basketball team has become the first-ever Canadian team to qualify for the prestigious U.S. Amateur Athletic Union National Championships.
Both team officials and AAU organizers were excited over the Yellow Jackets inclusion for the June 30-July 8 tournament in Kingsport, Tennessee.
“This is an outstanding achievement,” said Yellow Jackets head coach Kevin Karl. “I am very proud of the hard work these young ladies have done to qualify for the national championship of America.”
Said AAU senior sports manager Eddie Clinton. “I am honoured that you are the first Canadian team to qualify in our Division I National Championship. You will be a super addition to the fun in Kingsport.”
The under-12 AAU national title hunt will involve more than 90 teams from across the United States and now Canada. The Blessed Sacrament will make their historic sojourn to the highly regarded competition with a 12-5 against American competition this year and 42-11 overall, winning the silver medal in Ontario.
In addition to Karl, a former Sir Allan Mastar, the Blessed Sacrament Yellow Jackets are coached by Dave Roser.
Karl has had a successful career as a high school coach over the past 15 years being on coaching staffs that have won four city championships and made four appearances in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA), winning three medals.
Roser is a former McMaster University Marauder great whose career scoring record survived for more than 20 years and was just recently surpassed. Roser was twice voted McMaster athlete of the year and is a member of the Mac Hall of Fame.
In the Blessed Sacrament Rep program over the past five years, teams have won one bronze and two silver medals. “I hope people in Hamilton realize what these girls have done,” said Roser. “We should all be very proud of them.”