Mi­nor soft­ball re­turns to the North Shore

The Compass - - SPORTS -

Late in 2010 when peo­ple in Western Bay found out that I was mov­ing back to Western Bay to live the wheels were put in mo­tion for get­ting mi­nor soft­ball started up in the area again. I had once been very in­volved in soft­ball in the area and now used my past con­tacts to get the ball rolling again. Talk­ing to par­ents in the area I found out that there was enough in­ter­est to give it a try.

I was faced with two ma­jor is­sues. One was hav­ing no equip­ment and the other was the poor con­di­tion of the sur­face of the ex­ist­ing field in Western Bay. There was no money to take care of ei­ther is­sue.

I knew where to get some money if there were enough chil­dren in­volved. So early in 2012, I de­cided to sur­vey the chil­dren in the three schools serv­ing the chil­dren from Kingston to Caplin Cove from ages five to 14. Ap­prox­i­mately 50 chil­dren were in­ter­ested.

A $1,500 grant from First Pitch Pro­gram was ap­plied for and ap­proved. Now we had the money for equip­ment. More money was raised through our reg­is­tra­tion in late May and com­mit­tees were set up to look af­ter things for the up­com­ing sea­son. A toll gate dur­ing the Canada Day week­end raised ap­prox­i­mately $940 in two-and-a-half hours.

Par­ents and chil­dren went to the field on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions with tools to re­pair the sur­face. Our re­gional de­vel­op­ment as­so­ci­a­tion do­na­tion a tan­dem load of sand for our in­field and we spent some of our money — $1,100 — to pur­chase two more tan­dem loads of sand.

This al­lowed us to start our co-ed soft­ball pro­gram on July 4 with three groups: five to seven year-olds, eight to 10 year-olds, and 11 to 14 year-olds. Each group prac­ticed twice per week. This would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the many peo­ple who vol­un­teered as coaches.

Skills came along slowly un­til they started to play games against par­ents late in July. It didn’t take long to see a big im­prove­ment in their play. But still we weren’t ready for tour­na­ments.

But­lerville in­vited us to play games against them dur­ing their of­fi­cial field open­ing cer­e­monies. We were en­cour­aged by the play of our three groups and then con­tacted Win­ter­ton to see if we could visit them for a dou­ble-header. They agreed and late in Au­gust our old­est group eas­ily won both games. How­ever, when they vis­ited us in late Septem­ber Win­ter­ton was a much im­proved team, but our group nar­rowly won both games again.

Par­ents are well de­serv­ing of a big thanks for their sup­port, both as fans and for their ef­forts in fundrais­ing.

For next year, we are look­ing at adding ages 15, 16, and 17 and pos­si­bly in­clud­ing chil­dren from the com­mu­ni­ties of Old Per­li­can, Bay de Verde, Perry’s Cove, Salmon Cove, and Vic­to­ria. We are also hop­ing to add more chil­dren from our own com­mu­ni­ties.

Over the win­ter, we plan to get our coaches and um­pires cer­ti­fied through clin­ics. We also have com­mit­tees in place to plan field area im­prove­ments and to raise money to carry out these im­prove­ments. Our teams are known as the North Shore Mi­nor Soft­ball As­so­ci­a­tion Wreck­ers.

Sub­mit­ted by Ed Fa­hey

Sub­mit­ted pho­tos

Play­ers, coaches and spe­cial guests gather for a photo fol­low­ing a sea­son-end­ing cer­e­mony for the North Shore Mi­nor Soft­ball As­so­ci­a­tion on Sept. 19. Pic­tured here are: Front (l-r) — Laura Whalen, Bryanna Ho­gan, Mya Cole, Patrick Bartlett, Ni­cholas Bartlett and Ja­cob Brook­ings; sec­ond row — Mor­gan Slade, Cassie Ho­gan, Ken­dra Walsh, Shyann Rose, Noah How­ell, Zachary Bursey, Deven Cull, Bran­don Can­nings, Nathan Bursey, Diego Rose and Is­abella Pittman; third row — Ge­or­gia Slade, Hai­ley Kennedy, Cameron Reid, Kyle Par­sons, Mor­gan Oliver, Alyssa Hal­l­i­day, Liam But­ton and Tris­ten Whalen; fourth row — Lu­cas Scott, Timmy Sel­lars, Char­lene John­son (MHA), Amanda Pre­ston, Hi­lary Whalen and Chelsea Walsh; back — Ed Fa­hey (coach), Jade Oliver (coach), Christo­pher Brook­ings, Cody Sel­lars, Mitchell Pre­ston and An­drew Par­sons (coach). Miss­ing from photo — Alexan­der Pittman, Ta­tum De­laney, Tyson Tra­verse, Caden De­laney, Shane De­laney and Kyle Bursey These young soft­ball play­ers from the North Shore and Win­ter­ton

were pho­tographed in Western Bay fol­low­ing a pair of ex­hi­bi­tion games

late last month.

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