Astros having a ball
Ascension takes second consecutive AAAA male softball banner
Ascension Collegiate students walking into Trevor Dixon’s secondfloor classroom have probably noticed something different over the last week or so.
Firstly, there is a provincial AAAA softball banner hanging on the left side of the white board, and secondly, there are three yellow softballs resting on Dixon’s desk.
Both hold the signatures of all of the players and coaching staff that played a part in the Astros’ second consecutive softball title.
The banner represents the second of back-to-back softball championships, the first of which broke a near-quarter-century drought for the Bay Roberts school. Now, a second has the school teetering on the precipice of being called a dynasty.
Making the win more special was the fact the team could do it in front of family and friends, as the Astros hosted the tournament.
“Words cannot describe the feeling,” said Level III student Tyson Drover of Upper Island Cove, one of the team’s leading hitters in the tourney.
Drover, who had been injured in earlier in the tournament, belted two massive home runs in the victory, the second of which saw Drover trot down the first base line after making contact, bat in hand and watching the ball land in the soccer field some 350 feet from home plate.
The game was tight headed into the top of the seventh as the Astros held a narrow three-run lead, when Jared Adams launched a two-run home run into the cool, October sky and over the fence in left field.
Adams also pitched the team to victory in the title game. He said a key to the win was error-free ball.
“We played good defence,” he said.
Outfielder Zach Noseworthy said all members of the team were involved in the victory, calling it “a complete team effort.”
The final was a rematch of the tournament opener which saw Holy Trinity, of Torbay, dump the Astros 17-9.
But it would only serve as a wakeup call for the host team.
“We got stronger as the tourna-
ment went on,” said outfielder Colin Lynch.
The proof is in the pudding, as they say. As hitters started showing more patience at the plate, the bats started to come alive.
“Every time we came back to the dugout, we were saying ‘take a couple of pitches,’” said Noseworthy.
By the end of the tournament, Astros’ hitters were seeing beach balls.
The Astros met Clarenville High in its second matchup of the tournament, trouncing the visitors 14-3.
Then, the team met Exploits Valley High from Grand Falls-Windsor in a must-win game. The Astros’ offense exploded and the team took a 23-13 victory. The victory meant a semi final matchup with Roncalli High from Avondale. Roncalli held two previous victories over the Astros from the regional tournament.
But Ascension was able to exorcise the demons, outlasting Roncalli 15-8 in the winner-take-all affair. Team support Spend a couple of minutes with the team, and it was easy to tell they support each other, both on the field and off.
If a player committed an error, the rest were quick to pick him up with a pat on the back or some supportive words.
“Other teams, you could hear them saying things to players if they did something wrong,” said coach Trevor Dixon. “Our guys didn’t do that.”
Dixon was not surprised by the outcome of the tournament.
“I was confident that with the group we had put together, that they could do it again,” he said.
Noseworthy added that he knew his teammates had the talent to turn the trick one more time.
“We knew we had the skill to beat them,” he said.
ABOVE: The Ascension Collegiate boys’ softball team captured its second straight AAAA provincial softball crown after defeating Holy Trinity in the championship game at the Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex in Bay Roberts on Oct. 13. Members of the team are: front (l-r) – Colin Lynch, coach Kerilynn Mercer, Nicholas Parsons and Tyson Drover; back – coach Jeremy Mercer, Lucas Roberts, Cody Walsh, Bradley Riggs, Zachary Noseworthy, Jared Adams, Stewart Brazil, Brandon Moriarity, Zachary Coombs, Brandon Crocker and coach Trevor Dixon. Missing from photo is Brandon Sparkes.