Strong start to sec­ond sea­son

North shore soft­ball sees in­crease in regis­tra­tion

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NICHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Soft­ball is once again be­com­ing the thing to do in small com­mu­ni­ties all along the Trin­ity and Con­cep­tion Bay shores.

In Win­ter­ton, the Lower Trin­ity South Soft­ball As­so­ci­a­tion is in full swing and chil­dren are on the ball field ev­ery evening en­joy­ing New­found­land’s un­of­fi­cial pas­time.

Now, on the other side, the North Shore Mi­nor Soft­ball As­so­ci­a­tion is all set to kick off its sec­ond sea­son.

Based out of Western Bay, the as­so­ci­a­tion takes in in­ter­ested play­ers from Kingston to Caplin Cove.

The as­so­ci­a­tion has at­tracted play­ers from nearby Old Per­li­can and as far away as Labrador City and St. John’s.

The as­so­ci­a­tion held regis­tra­tion re­cently and saw pos­i­tive re­sults.

Some 53 play­ers have signed up for the 2013 sum­mer sea­son from ages 5 to 17. That rep­re­sents a 25 per cent jump from last year’s num­bers.

Or­ga­nizer Ed­ward Fa­hey an­tic­i­pates that num­ber could end up be­ing be­tween 35 and 40 per cent by the time the sea­son is fin­ished.

“I have a cou­ple of more kids who want to sign up,” he said.

Wreck­ing the op­po­si­tion

Tak­ing its cue from lo­cal his­tory, the as­so­ci­a­tion took a lo­cal ap­proach to nam­ing its teams.

All along the shore­line, the jagged rocks jut out, pos­ing a se­ri­ous threat to any mariner who does not know the coast­line.

Tak­ing that theme, or­ga­niz­ers set­tled on the name Wreck­ers.

“It came from the ship­wrecks in the area,” said Fa­hey.

Adding to the fear­some name, the Wreck­ers’ colours will be the clas­sic combo of or­ange and black with the name em­bla­zoned on the front.

En­ter­ing into a spon­sor­ship agree- ment with a group of lo­cal busi­ness own­ers, as well as own­ers out­side the area, for pro­mo­tion in ex­change for jer­seys. The names of the busi­ness will be promi­nently dis­played on the back of th­ese jer­seys.

Build­ing the game

The as­so­ci­a­tion has also taken steps to help build the game the cor­rect way.

Nine of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity took the time to be­come cer­ti­fied coaches, while an­other two took the um­pir­ing course.

This will al­low the ath­letes to re­ceive coach­ing on proper tech­nique and skills go­ing for­ward, which will only prove ben­e­fi­cial in the long run as the game con­tin­ues to grow on the north shore of Con­cep­tion Bay.

Im­prov­ing the field

At the con­clu­sion of last sea­son, the group did not rest on its lau- rels. Fundrais­ing started im­me­di­ately and the money raised will go to­ward im­prov­ing the con­di­tion of the field.

Right now, Fa­hey s a i d the group is work­ing on im­prov­ing the in­field with the hopes of putting down sand in the near fu­ture.

“We’re still try­ing to up­grade,” he said.

There are also plans to fur­ther hy­dro seed the out­field, as well as push the third base­line out fur­ther so that it meets reg­u­la­tion size.

Fa­hey ad­mits that it has been a lot of work or­ga­niz­ing and get­ting the chil­dren out on the field.

How­ever, he said there is just some­thing about the sights and sounds of a ball­field come to life.

“There is noth­ing bet­ter than to see ( the play­ers) out on the field,” said Fa­hey.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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