Outstanding turnout for Mindemoya Youth Softball tournament

All four t-ball division teams pose for a photo at the 2019 Mindemoya Youth Softball tournament.

MINDEMOYA – The stands were packed all weekend long with onlookers as were the three ball fields during the second annual Mindemoya Youth Softball Tournament, held this past weekend.

“I’m happy, very much so,” said event organizer Greg Lockeyer. “First off, the weather co-operated—it was beautiful. We had 27 teams, with one team dropping out two days before the start of the tournament. We had just over 300 kids taking part, plus each kid has at least one parent here and the other spectators.” He pointed out the number of teams in this year’s event was considerably more than last year’s 18. 

Mr. Lockeyer noted that an extra ballfield, located at Central Manitoulin Public School (CMPS), was used to host eight games at this year’s tournament. “We received good co-operation from (CMPS). We planned to do work over the summer to get the field ready to use and put in a shelter and a portable washroom. We put the flagpole, which came from Jays Care Foundation, up on Friday.”

He explained the organizing committee made up of Tamey McAllister, Reid Taylor, Shannon Drouin, Steve Redmond, Glen Duncanson, Alan Davy and Annette King received support from a number of Island businesses as well as funding from Jays Care Foundation to help construct the schoolyard ball field. The Tehkummah Fire Department made sure the fields were well watered on every morning so that each of the 59 games took place in the best possible conditions.

“You could tell the kids were all having fun,” said Mr. Lockeyer. “You could tell by the expressions on their faces and the laughing and cheering. It is different than hockey where players wear face masks so you can’t see their face.”

“Mindemoya has developed a good reputation of holding good events,” said Mr. Lockeyer. “The Pearson Cup has been going on since 1983 and there was skepticism when it first started as to how long it would go. This tournament is like a feeder system for it; the Hazards are one of the teams there and this weekend we had a team called the Mini Hazards.” 

The tournament ran from Friday night to late Sunday afternoon. The championship games included T-Ball, with the four teams, Mindemoya Magic, Mindemoya Blue Bandits, Wiikwemkoong and M’Chigeeng, not keeping score. 

The peewee B division was won by M’Chigeeng 13-1 over the Odd Sox. M’Chigeeng’s roster included Lourdes Taukei, Nyala O’Connor, Makenna Beam, Carlynn Simon, James Panamick, Zack Peltier, Davin Enosse, Ethan Ense, Brian Bisson, Liam McClean and coach Renee Corbiere.

The Sandlot Tigers won the A division Prescott Family Trophy with a tight 10-9 win over the Sandlot Legends. The Tigers included Jaxsin Chatwell, Max King, Cohen Rajotte, Liam Stephens, Bryden Romaniuk, Sophie Campbell, Corie Brown, Brinley Watson, Trinity Cheechoo, Gabby Gagne and coaches Chris King, Scott Stephens and Christa King.

The bantam B title went to 2 Can’s Clan of Espanola which defeated M’Chigeeng Thunderbirds by 13-4. The team included Ethan Leblanc, Anderson Parker, Tyler McLennan, Jackson Noble, Owen Bucknell, Sari Smith, Nevy Newton, Emelia Lamothe, Gracie Gibson, Delayna Rantanen and Abby Parker, with coaches Dan Leblanc, Dave Parker, Michelle Parker and Kelly Paradis.

The bantam A division saw the Mon Starts defeat the Outsliders 11-5. Team members included Brayden Phelps, Aiden Case, Liam Lariviere, Noah Thorpe, Chase Becks, Jordan Graham, Ava Corbiere, Abbie Heins, Aubri Cranny, Ava Assinewai and coach Landen Smith. Player Katrina Anaya won a brand new ball glove in the draw and Kennedy, Al and Lou Lanktree presented their family trophy to the Mon Stars.

In the midget B division, the Seaworld Sluggers defeated the Mystery Gang by a score of 7-2; they included Emma ‘Weasel’ Cassidy, Kyle Smith, Tessa Bellmore, Owen Duncanson, Hailey McGillis-Prior, Noah Hare, Nick Purvis, Malia Leighton, Jake Robinson, Kyle Wood, Memphis Cadieux and Chase Hester coached by Ryan Prior and Glen Duncanson. 

The Chiefs blasted The Purple Jellyfish in the midget A division, by a decisive 20-9 score. The Chiefs were Jenna Taylor, Trent Bell, Autumn Deschenes, Gave Hare, Harmony Kaiser-Fox, Cord Hughson, Todd Gordon, Whittier Gauthier, Hudson Hare, Aysia Francis-Debassige, Lattrell Peltier, Jared Cortez (not present) and coaches Dean Hare and Mason Graham.

The brand new Doug and Kathy King trophy (dedicated in honour of their contributions to local softball) was presented to the Chiefs.

Draws were held for a new bat, won by Tatiana King, sponsored by Leanne Lewis Royal LePage, and three new gloves, won by Jaxsin Chatwell, Katrina Anaya and Taylor Dafoe. 

“Committee members did a great job; they worked very hard,” said Mr. Lockeyer, “and the umpires, all volunteers did a really good job. A huge thank you to all our sponsors, players and parents and the township for all their help during the weekend.”