Softball team regional champs for first time
© Andrea Gunn photos
Exploits Valley High Eagles’ Sean Loveridge makes a run for base during a game at the 4A regional softball qualifier in Grand Falls-Windsor last weekend. The Eagles went undefeated in the tournament and will be competing at the provincials later this month.
The Exploits Valley High Eagles 4A softball team hasn’t competed in the provincial tournament yet, but already they have something to be proud of.
Last weekend, the team went undefeated at the regional School Sport Newfoundland and Labrador qualifier, winning their way to a shot at the provincial competition in October. The Eagles defeated Botwood in the championship game 4-0.
EVH teacher Glenn Casey has been coaching the team for five years, and said this is the first time they’ve made it past the regional competition.
“A lot of the players this year played with me last year, and our primary goal at the beginning of the season was to win the regional tournament,” said Casey. “We had our mind set prior to tryouts that this team was going to win this event.”
Casey said over the past number of years, Botwood and Gander have been the dominant teams, and even this year most the games were close.
The team was ecstatic about the win, according to Casey, and said the highlight of the game was beating Gander 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh in their last round robin game.
“That solidified us going undefeated in the round robin,” said Casey. He said the undefeated status gave the boys a boost of confidence going into the final.
“I think everyone was really focused, they played really well and were extremely disciplined,” said Casey. “They’re great athletes.”
Even though the team only came together in September and could only fit in a handful of practices, Casey said the fact that many players played baseball over the summer was a big asset.
He also said his assistant coach Corey Penton and the team’s manager Tristan Shea were a great help over the weekend.
Now, the Eagles have just a few short weeks to prepare for the provincial competition, which will be held in Bay Roberts Oct. 12-13, and will be the last tournament of the softball season.
“We have to get as many practices in as possible before provincials,” said Casey. “It’s going to be their first time at the provincial event, but I know what kind of team we have, so I expect us to be very competitive and to do quite well.”