Jade Montana, 16, is hoping to follow her brother’s footsteps to be scouted with an offered scholarship to attend a university in the U.S. to play fastball.
The Grade 10 student attends the Harvest City Christian Academy in Regina. She plays shortstop and pitches for the 222’s fastpitch team coached by Dean Holoien who coached the men’s national team as the pitching instructor also played with a national team for 12 years and played closer to 30 years at the national senior level. Coach Holoien trains Montana three times a week.
“She’s come along great,” he says. “She’s a hard worker and she takes on challenges. If something isn’t quite working right, she gets determined and has to overcome it,” Holoien said.
Montana has been playing fastball for seven years and was inspired to get involved in the game by her family.
“My family has always been involved in fastball,” she said. “My uncles, my grandparents and my brother all played fastball. I grew up around the diamonds with them. It rubbed off on me just seeing them play which built my passion for it.”
Montana and her team have travelled to the United States to play tournaments in California, San Diego, and Las Vegas – where she will be competing in the Valentine’s Day Blast tournament held by the Triple Crown Sports.
“I’m looking forward to playing with my team,” she says. “I haven’t seen them in awhile [because they live far apart]. They’re like my family and I miss them. It’s always fun being on the diamond with them.”
Her fastpitch team is the only Saskatchewan team with 15 team members and Montana is the only one from Regina. Jade keeps herself in shape by staying active and living a healthy lifestyle. She believes that any athlete can succeed if they abstain from drugs and alcohol. With a clear frame of mind, she is a role model for younger athletes.
“Just living and eating healthy does a whole lot better for you than it does for people who eat junk food. It keeps your mind and body fresh and that you’re just ready to go,” she says.
She hopes her hard work will pay off when she plays in upcoming tournaments in front of attending scouts.
“My dream is to go to a college somewhere hot. I’m hoping Oklahoma, Auburn, or Arizona State. I want to study sports kinesiology or business administration,” she says
Coach Holoien believes Montana has what it takes to go further in her career as she demonstrates good qualities in a fastpitch athlete.