Three Red Deer athletes are coming home from the 2017 Canada Summer Games with silver medals around their necks.
Sisters Jade and Tyla Lee were part of the silver-medal winning Team Alberta Softball and Reece Lehman, played on Team Alberta Volleyball who settled for silver after a heartbreaking fifth set loss to Team Ontario.
Team Alberta Softball battled Team B.C. in the gold medal game but lost 10-3. Tyla, usually a middle infielder, played left field for Alberta in the final and had one hit.
For most of the tournament, Tyla watched her older sister Jade roam the outfield. She said that moment alone is one she won’t soon forget.
“Watching her play and being behind her or beside her was awesome,” said Tyla, who at 17 was the youngest player on Team Alberta Softball. “I’ll definitely want to play like her when I get older,” Tyla said.
She added the games experience was above and beyond what she could have imagined.
“It was a lot more than I expected it would be,” she said.
“The closing ceremonies were like the Olympics almost. It was so crazy. The experience all together was really fun. Playing with my older sister and with the older players was a really great experience.”
Jade, 19, missed the final as she had to make a trip back to Kennesaw State University for her junior season with the Owls. She played last season at Iowa Western Community College and was named a two-time Academic All-Region XI First Team student-athlete, two-time All-Region First Team and Region XI Defensive Player of the Year.
Tyla intends to follow in her sister’s footsteps next season and join the Reivers at Iowa Western Community College. She leaves for school later this week. She believes the games will help prepare her for any big stage down the road.
“It was a big deal and further in my ball career there will be a lot more things like that with nerves and everything so I think living through (the Canada Summer Games) and playing through that will help me with all the big events,” Tyla said.
It was the first silver in Softball for Alberta at the Canada Summer Games in 32 years.
Team Alberta Volleyball lost a five-set gold medal game to Team Ontario. Alberta lost a heartbreaking fifth set 16-14 in the final and settled for silver.
Lehman, a middle player is off to the University of Calgary next year to suit up for the Dinos.