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Canyon Lake seniors capture second place in Hemet softball tournament

Pictured, in the front row from left, are Orlando Lopez, Dennis McCoy, Hank Alonzo, and Clay Lilley. Pictured, in the back row from left, are Larry Trudeau, Glenn Stevenson, Larry Hixon, Bill Dailey, Ron Martel, Kent Skidmore, Rob Robertson, Steve Jankowski, and Edgar Carroll. Photo provided by Ron Martel.

By Ron Martel  
Contributing Writer

The Canyon Lake senior softball team competed in the SoCal Senior Softball Tournament on May 6 and May 7 in Hemet. With players ranging in ages 61 through 77, the Canyon Lakers were scheduled against teams from the much younger 55 through 65 age groups. The Canyon Lake players, who are individual members of various teams in their respective age groups, assembled for the first (and last?) time together to represent their community.

Led by Orlando Lopez, who batted .941 with a home run, Larry Hixon, who pitched and batted .900, and Clay Lilley, who hit two home runs and made a few dazzling catches, this hastily assembled team battled for five games during the weekend event.

Managed by infielder Kent Skidmore and infielder/pitcher Glenn Stevenson, other Canyon Lake players on the roster included Dennis McCoy, Steve Jankowski, Bill Dailey, Rob Robertson, Larry Trudeau, Ron Martel, Edgar Carrol, and Hank Alonzo.

On Saturday, the home team began the day by defeating Long Beach Mafia 31-15 as well as the Riptide 21-13. In the Sunday morning game, the Canyon Lakers were able to erase a double-digit deficit, only to lose a nail-biter, but battled through the semi-finals against Samarai of Orange County to advance to the championship game Sunday afternoon against Top Gun Fury of San Diego. The Canyon Lakers fell just shy of victory but were pleased with their second-place finish.

Team captain Kent Skidmore summarized the experience, “We were happy with our performance against much younger players, but it was the camaraderie of playing on the same team with our neighbors and representing our community that we’ll never forget.”

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