Regulars(Archives)

Oct
01
2017
Volume
5-6

Catch You On The Rebound

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Fort McMurray-born Brianna Aguilar-Beaucage may be only a few strikes away from attending the Games of the XXXII Olympiad (2020 Summer Olympics) in Tokyo, Japan.

Her sport of choice?

Softball.

She is the offspring of athletic parents Greg Beaucage and Benitta Aguilar; the two meeting at Ohio State University, Greg a student/athlete on the men’s hockey team (1988-1992) and Benitta on the Buckeyes women’s softball team.

Aguilar-Beaucage resided her first few years in her father’s hometown of Fort McMurray, the family relocating to Tucson, Arizona with Aguilar-Beaucage dribbling in the sport of basketball from Grade 5 to Grade 8.

She then took her talents to the pitcher’s mound, later earning an athletic scholarship to attend Grand Canyon College, where in her freshman year (2016-2017) she earned  All-Western Athletic Conference Second-Team honours for the NCCA Division I school.

She appeared in 26 NCAA games with 15 starts while posting a 2.94 earned runs average with 61 strikeouts.

It was also during this time-period that Aguilar-Beaucage, due to her dual-citizenship, discovered that she could showcase her talents on the international stage.

Attending Canadian national tryouts in early June, Aguilar-Beaucage was selected to Canada’s Junior Women’s National Softball team.

Her talent was quickly noticed, a call-up to the Women’s National Team to participate at the World Cup of Softball XII in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Canada claimed bronze with a 3-0 decision over Australia. Aguilar-Beaucage pitched 9.2 innings in five games which included a start and 12-7 win against Mexico.

“It was a great experience,” said the 5-foot-7 Aguilar-Beaucage. “I learned a lot about the game and about being a good teammate and being able to support and watch. It’s different for sure. Here there are all stars everywhere. I learned what I needed to improve and to help my team.”

At the WBSC Junior Women’s World Softball Championship (July 24-30) in Clearwater, Florida, she assisted Canada to a respectable fourth place.

In six game appearances, she had four starts going 28 innings while fanning 28 batters.

A fourth place finish at the Japan Cup held in Taskasaki City, Japan would follow in late August.

Of her Team Canada status and a possible future Olympic appearance, “I think that is crazy. Something I have never thought of before until this summer. It has motivated me more. I am very proud to be wearing the Canadian uniform. This is something bigger than anything I have ever been able to do before.”

A right-handed pitcher, Aguilar-Beaucage wears No. 6 in honour of her Uncle Albert Aguilar: “He passed away four years ago (leukemia) and he was the sixth out of 10 kids. He was my Godfather and he was a very strong guy. It made me appreciate my family a lot more and that time is precious.”

Time is indeed precious.

It was on January 6, 2014 that Karac Cosman, 34, died in his sleep, leaving behind six-month old daughter Alexia and her mother Naticia MacDougall.

“We lost her father to cardiac arrest,” recalls MacDougall of Cosman, an avid bodybuilder. “It naturally affected us and I wanted to be strong for my daughter.  I wanted to make sure that I could be here for her for a long time. I started to go to the gym and eat healthy and started to transform my body.”

MacDougall would go on to become a personal trainer which “led to competing on stage” in fitness and fashion competitions.

Along with currently teaching “three to four classes a day”, MacDougall also finds time to train three-to-four hours daily.

“I’m a natural athlete and I stay lean. It is lean muscle. I do it all year-round and I don’t just do it for competitions. It is not a chore for me but you have to make a sacrifice and I have a strong support system.

“My whole purpose is to inspire other people. I just want to drive the younger generation to greatness. This gives my life meaning and this is what I was meant to do.”

The 5-foot-8 MacDougall, 38, competed at the  2017 World Beauty Fitness Fashion Worlds in London, England (August 25-26, 2017) where she placed 10th in the Pro Diva Fitness Model 35+.

Catch you on the rebound!

CURTIS J PHILLIPS

Curtis J. Phillips has been a sports journalist in print/electronic mediums since 1976. A strong advocate of volunteerism, he is a founding father of numerous local events and organizations including the Challenge Cup and Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Phillips is also recognized internationally as a sports historian.

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