Tak­ing it ‘one game at a time’

Mastodons hop­ing to be­come re­peat cham­pi­ons at na­tional fast pitch cham­pi­onships in St. Croix

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The East Hants Se­nior Men’s Mastodons are ea­ger to host the up­com­ing Cana­dian Sr. Men’s Soft­ball Fast Pitch Cham­pi­onships in St. Croix.

“Our group this year is thrilled to not only be the host team for the na­tional tour­na­ment but the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons as well,” said Darcy Camp­bell, the Mastodons’ man­ager.

“This is only the third time the tour­na­ment has been played in Nova Sco­tia at the se­nior level and to be part of it as the cur­rent cham­pi­ons is truly a rare and ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity,” he said in a press re­lease.

In 2015, the Mastodons went to na­tion­als in St-Claire, Que­bec and lost 4- 3 in the gold medal game to New­found­land. In 2016, they cap­tured bronze af­ter los­ing to New­found­land for a sec­ond time. But in 2017, their luck changed and they de­feated New­found­land 6-5 to cap­ture to gold while play­ing in Saska­toon.

They’re hope­ful for another pos­i­tive show­ing this year.

“Ul­ti­mately our goal is to be play­ing in the cham­pi­onship game on Sept. 2, but there are nine other ex­tremely tal­ented teams com­ing here with that the same goal in mind,” said Camp­bell.

“For us to get to the gold medal game on Sun­day we need look at the first game and come ready to play One game at a time, one day at a time is about as far as any­one can look ahead at this level.”

The Mastodons re­joined the Se­nior Men’s base­ball cir­cuit in 2013 af­ter be­ing on hia­tus for more than 13 years.

The driv­ing force be­hind the team since 2013 has been head coach Chris Hopewell.

Hopewell, an ac­com­plished ball player him­self at the se­nior level, turned his fo­cus to coach­ing, with the goal of de­vel­op­ing world class ball play­ers and ul­ti­mately bring­ing a na­tional cham­pi­onship to East Hants and Nova Sco­tia.

Hopewell has re­cently re­ceived coach­ing awards from Soft­ball Canada, Soft­ball Nova Sco­tia and the East Hants Sports Her­itage So­ci­ety.

In 2014, Hopewell re­cruited Camp­bell, of Elms­dale, to take on the role of man­ager.

Mike Wood ( of Stewiacke) joined the Mastodons in 2016 as an as­sis­tant coach. Wood is also cur­rently the head coach of the U23 East Hants Mastodons team, who are fresh off a fourth place fin­ish at the Jr. Na­tion­als in Que­bec.

The core of the team has largely been made up of the same group that came on board in 2013:

Team Canada pitcher Justin Schofield ( Wolfville), third base­man Aaron Har­vey ( Hard- wood Lands), sec­ond base­man Jay Duffy (Stewiacke), out­fielder Joel Isenor ( Lantz), Team Canada catcher Jason San­ford (Pic­tou County), catcher Darcy Gillis (Lantz).

Added to the team over the last six years has been out­fielder Jonah Wright (Sackville), first base­man Pa­trick Ste­wart ( Brook­field), pitcher and first base­man Don­nelly Archibald ( Antigo­nish), pitcher Travis Nevin ( In­dian Brook), in­fielder Ja­cob Hopewell (Lantz), pitcher Alex An­thony ( Shube­nacadie), out­fielder Coby Crow­ell (Brook­field), catcher and in­fielder Tyler Wil­liams (Lantz) and out­fielder Myles Cold­well ( Gays River).

The Mastodons will also have two im­port play­ers on their ros­ter this year. Back for a third year will be Aus­tralian Nick Shailes, who is cur­rently liv­ing in On­tario. Shailes is a na­tional team mem­ber for Aus­tralia. Also join­ing them for the first time will be Team Canada cen­ter­fielder Mark John­son, who hails from On­tario.

“The or­ga­ni­za­tion com­mit­tee has done a won­der­ful job get­ting the fa­cil­ity in St. Croix ready,” said Camp­bell. “The work that has been done to the fields and build­ings is out­stand­ing. Its go­ing to be a fun week and I know that there will be lots of ex­cit­ing ball games ”

SUBMITTED

Kaj MacVicar, right, takes a jump shot from just in­side the three-point arc dur­ing the bronze-medal game at the 2018 U-15 boys’ na­tional bas­ket­ball cham­pi­onships.

SUBMITTED

The 2018 Nova Sco­tia U-15 mens’ team and coaches took home bronze at the cham­pi­onships in Bri­tish Columbia ear­lier this month. Port Wil­liams’ Kaj MacVicar, pic­tured fourth in the back row, was on the team.

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