Up­per Is­land Cove teens take a swing at Canada Games

Ex­cited to rep­re­sent home­town as mem­bers of base­ball team com­pet­ing in Win­nipeg

The Compass - - Sports - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

UP­PER IS­LAND COVE, NL — Res­i­dents of a ru­ral Con­cep­tion Bay North com­mu­nity will have two rea­sons to root for Team New­found­land and Labrador’s base­ball group at the up­com­ing 2017 Canada Games in Win­nipeg.

Lu­cas Adams and Josh Mercer made the team ear­lier this year and will board a plane this week to com­pete against other prov­inces and ter­ri­to­ries.

“It is pretty cool hav­ing two peo­ple from Up­per Is­land Cove on the team,” Adams said last week at the ball field in Up­per Is­land Cove, where the two play­ers met with The Com­pass for a chat.

“It goes to show what you can do if you work hard at it, be­cause we haven’t had as much op­por­tu­nity, prac­tice time as a lot of the other guys that were in (St. John’s) and Cor­ner Brook and so on and so forth. But if you re­ally put your heart to it, you can do what­ever you want. It doesn’t mat­ter where you’re from.”

Mercer is a speedy cen­ter fielder who con­sid­ers him­self more of a con­tact hit­ter, while Adams plays third base. Like Mercer, he’s a con­tact hit­ter, but Adams also pos­sesses a bit of power in his swing. They both started play­ing base­ball at a young age and have a lot of love for the sport.

“I love the think­ing part of the game,” Adams said. “It’s not just all phys­i­cal (strength) or skill — you have to be al­ways on your toes and think­ing a lot. I like that about the game.”

Mercer, 17, had not made a provin­cial team prior to this year, while 17-year-old Adams has rep­re­sented New­found­land and Labrador pre­vi­ously at the 15-and-un­der level.

“When the fi­nal cuts came out, it was a big re­lief,” said Adams.

As mem­bers of the Canada Games team, they’ve had a busy sum­mer, trav­el­ling to tour­na­ments in Al­berta and Prince Ed­ward Is­land. The two play­ers also at­tended Team At­lantic try­outs in Monc­ton, N.B.

In order to pre­pare for the Canada Games, Team New­found­land and Labrador play­ers are get­ting to­gether for two-to-three prac­tices a week in St. John’s.

“I think we’re com­ing to­gether more-and-more ev­ery prac­tice,” Mercer said.

“I like this team,” added Adams. “Ev­ery­one is pretty good friends. It’s a good bunch of guys.”

Hav­ing al­ready faced a few of the other Canada Games teams, Mercer ex­pects his team will be com­pet­i­tive at the tour­na­ment.

“We’ve had close games. We beat a few. So the whole team is go­ing up ready to com­pete,” he said. “We’re not ex­pect­ing to go up and get blown out of the wa­ter.”

But if you re­ally put your heart to it, you can do what­ever you want. It doesn’t mat­ter where you’re from.

— Lu­cas Adams

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Josh Mercer, left, and Lu­cas Adams of Up­per Is­land Cove are mem­bers of Team New­found­land and Labrador’s Canada Games base­ball squad.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.