Pictured: St. Paul & Elk Point Zone 7 representatives (Left to Right): Damon Buffalo, Ethan Boisclair, Odin Smith, Wade Ledoux, Malcolm Steeves and Lane Peters.
Inside the Huddle
Summer games should change their name to summer rains! Sounds like the opening ceremonies in Grand Prairie were a little wet, just like the weather back here at home this past weekend. But the games must go on!
Baseball is really tough if it rains, the ball gets greasy and the mound gets dangerous; but football, that’s another story. Football is known for playing in all kinds of bad weather conditions. Rain or shine, sleet or snow, or terrible heat like we had last week at practice for these boys.
The Zone 7 football team had been working at practice for hours all week in the plus 30 heat.
Our local Smith family (Ron and Sharon, Roger and Tiffany) were billeting many of the boys who would come home exhausted; and hungry like a bear! Including their own product, Odin ‘the Wall’ Smith was on team. He’s a big lineman, built like a bear, and plays all out, all the time.
The Zone 7 team lost their first game against Zone 5, Sherwood Park. This was a close game, until the second quarter when the team had some fumbles and turnovers and the play went down the field the other way for touch downs. The Wall making some huge tackles in this one. Duncan Critch from Bonnyville and Malcolm Steeves from St. Paul scoring touchdowns for the Zone 7 team. But the ‘Wall’ giving it all, aggravated his knee that had been bothering him all week at practice and was forced to sit on the side lines for the next two games. The Wall had been getting physio-therapy on his knee everyday hoping that it would heal well enough for the weekend.
Zone 7 did go on to win the second game against Zone 1, 20 to 0 . Duncan Critch with another touchdown, Malcolm Steeves with two. The third game was against Zone 6, Edmonton. No score in this one until the second quarter when the boys did take a lead for a while, but the competition was pretty darn tough and the Zone 7 team would lose the game in the end but represented the Zone 7 very well.
Zone 7 left Alberta Summer Games with a sixth place finish.
Another one of our local boys, who recently moved away, but is still one of my guys as far as I’m concerned, did extremely well at the summer games. Parker ‘Wild Thing’ Allen threw a personal best in the Hammer and in Javelin and won the provincial gold medal in both events.
Parker has been training for only a couple of years but has suddenly become one of the best in province. Before the summer games he was at a provincial track meet in Calgary and won gold in the Hammer Throw and placed silver in all of his other events (Discus, Javelin and Shot Putt) and will be competing in the Western Canadian summer games this coming weekend then off to the Nationals in August .
I don’t think anyone would have guessed a few years ago that this boy could throw. I sure didn’t, if I had of, I would have kidnapped him and had him signed to a baseball contract to pitch for the Sox for sure. His mother Robbie tells me he has great velocity, but sometime he can be a little wild with his throws!! Look out !!
Going to the Show
Speaking of baseball. This boy can throw and hit too! One of our local boys, Austin ‘Ozzie’ Stafford has been having quite a year pitching for the NEZ Edmonton Padres AAA midget team.
This past weekend, he was playing in four games in Calgary and won the game he pitched in. He also hit a home run over the fence and put a dent into the side of a closed utility trailer that was about another twenty feet over the fence. Usually when he’s not on the mound pitching his coach uses him as the designated hitter. His batting average is one of the highest on the team and this was not his first one out of the park this year. This coming weekend Ozzie will be in Okotoks for their provincial AAA tier # 2 finals.
Two of our home town teams will be competing in the provincial finals this coming weekend, as well. The Elk Point Sox Mosquitoes provincial team are travelling to Rocky Mountain house to compete in the AA tier 6 provincial. The Bantams will be in St. Albert in the AA tier 5 provincials.
The Bantam AA Northstars had a great season going 12-8. In the final provincial round they went 4-2 and got moved up a tier for their efforts.
For most of the year Charlie ‘Chuckles’ Rogal hit lead off for the team and consistently got on base and drove in runs. He also had a great year pitching, becoming one of the teams starters.
Nolan Dechaine batted second and ended up having the highest batting average on the team for the year at .522. He also could also be brought in at anytime pitching and threw strikes. Evan ‘Goat’ Gauthier had a great year at the plate with an OBP of .592 and drove in the most runs on the year with 27, he proved to be a great number 3 hitter.
Evan ‘Batman’ Ockerman was a solid 1st basemen all year, rarely making errors and always picking the ball, he also came in and saved numerous games from the mound. Brad Atwal who recently won Bronze at the Alberta Summer games is the hardest throwing pitcher the team had seen all year. When he is on, he is almost unhittable.
Seth Cobourne was the most reliable pitcher all year, he started a game pretty much every weekend and you always knew you were going to get a great outing. He had 44 strikeouts from the mound this year leading the team in that department. Kobe ‘Cobra’ Warawa was one of the teams consistent fielders and made the play more times than not. He doesn’t hit for power, but is a great contact hitter and had a high OBP of .522.
Andon ‘Ace’ Ballas found a new home in left field and made some awesome diving catches this year. He has a great arm and can really throw the ball.
Evan ‘Bobbsie ‘ Gamache hit the ball pretty consistently all year, if you needed a clutch hit he would be there to knock in a few runs. He started playing first base this year and has really developed into a good 1st basemen.
Braden Reid is the youngest player on the team, but he gave it his all every game. He made some great defensive plays throughout the year. Just as the season is coming to a close he is starting to come into his own at the plate as well.
‘Mick Jager ‘ Fontaine helped us out a few times this year when we had injuries as our teams affiliate player. He is an underage player, but you couldn’t tell when he stepped on the field. He came in and helped out driving in runs and throwing some really strong innings.
Overall it is a great group of boys that really came together making a great team this year. They are off to St Albert this weekend, hoping to bring home the Provincial Gold Medal. “No matter what happens it was a great year and you couldn’t ask for a better team to coach,” said head coach Tyler Warawa.
Just Jump !!
And not done yet, still more athletic stars from our little town. Corbin ‘Crusher’ Ockerman also plays AAA baseball in Sherwood Park, but his true love it volleyball. A few months ago he was chosen for the team Alberta U17 team. This past weekend they won a silver medal in Richmond B.C playing for team Alberta U17 at the volleyball Canada Cup losing out to Ontario. ‘ Crusher’ is almost six and a half feet tall and still growing!
Corbin can be found in the back row, forth from the right.
And a big happy birthday going out to my very good friend, a loyal hockey and baseball fan, grandmother to some very talented grand kids, Agnes Moroziuk.
And happy anniversary going out today to Mark and Brett Letestu. We’re not sure where the ‘Marksman’ will end up playing next year, but I still hope it’s for the Leafs !!
And now for the K. A. Campbell quote of the week. `The moment of victory is wonderful, but also sad. It means that your trip is ended. `- Bill Toomey