Two local fastball teams earn spots in hall of fame

The 1977 Wetaskiwin Legion Bantam and the Wetaskiwin Sport Shop Midget Fastball Teams are being inducted into...

  • Mar. 23, 2017 6:00 a.m.
1977Wetaskiwin Legion bantam fastball team

1977Wetaskiwin Legion bantam fastball team

Submitted by W&CSHOF

The 1977 Wetaskiwin Legion Bantam and the Wetaskiwin Sport Shop Midget Fastball Teams are being inducted into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame for winning two provincial Titles and two western Canadian titles.

To date they are the only teams that have been inducted that were able to win both the provincial and the western Canadian championships and incredibly they were able to accomplish the feat twice! Although not all of the men being inducted played on both teams a core group were members of both teams. When the boys were younger, some of them were also together on teams that won the provincial title in 1973 as Mites and again in 1975 as peewees.

The 1977 bantam team went undefeated in both the provincial championships and the western Canadian championships, an incredible accomplishment! In advancing to the provincials, the bantams defeated Brockville in two straight. In the Alberta play-downs they swept the title in three games, winning 10-1, 6-1 and 2-1 against Calgary and Edmonton’s best. In the three-day championships held in Saskatoon the Legion bantams had the pitching strength and the batting power the other teams never had. They were by far the best team in the tournament and defeated Port Alberni in the final game 8-2.

In 1979 the midgets were also undefeated in the provincial championships. In winning the tournament the Sport Shop beat Ardrossan 11-1, edged Grand Prairie 2-0 and beat Edmonton 12-6. In the final game they defeated Grande Prairie 17-9 after Grand Prairie had jumped into a six-point lead in the first inning! At the western Canadians held in Campbell River the midgets lost their first two games and then won five in a row to take the championship. After losing 3-0 to Saskatchewan and 1-0 to Manitoba they defeated Campbell River 9-0, British Columbia 13-0 and Campbell River 2-1 to end the preliminaries. In the play-offs they beat Saskatchewan 3-2 and edged Campbell River 2-1 for the second time on their route to the gold medal.

The head coach of both the bantam and the midget teams was Al Arner. As we all know, Al was a hard taskmaster. However, the boys must have respected Al and his coaching as before the 1978 season, Al fell out of a tree, broke his arm and consequently did not coach. Most of the players took the 1978 year off and then played again in 1979 when Al was back at the helm. Al started the boys playing inside in January and had many inventive drills to prepare the boys for the outdoor season. Al was certainly a factor and a positive influence in the accomplishments of the Legion bantam and Sport Shop midget teams. Credit should also be given to the 1977 and 1979 assistant coaches and managers as well as the coaches when the boys competed at the younger levels. They too contributed to the successes of these two teams.

The players on these two teams learned the value of participating in team sports and have encouraged their own children to become involved. Many of these men have given back to the community by coaching teams or becoming involved in the administrative aspect of community recreation thereby passing on lessons they learned.

Congratulations to both of these teams for their amazing achievement of winning these championships. Winning and competing at this level required effort, dedication, practice, team spirit, exceptional coaching, parental support as well as natural talent. These boys had it all.

Team Members are: Danny Anderson (77/79), Allen Bailer (77), Darrel Campbell (79), Dean Colborne (77/79), Brian Cooke (79), Mazen Debaji (77), Eldon Dumkee (77/79), Dean Fonteyne (79), Doug Ganske (79), Mike Gates (77), Scott Hagstrom (79), Barry Hebner (77/79), Darrell Knapp (77), Dexter Knull (77), Kevin Lonsdale (77/79), Warren Moan (77), Jim Pocock (77), Chris Smeaton (77), Doug Summers (79), Colin Wark (79), Jim Woitt (77/79) Coach Al Arner (77/79), Assistant Coach Raymond Bailer (77), Assistant Coach Bruce Rogers (79), Coach Val Fonteyne (75), Sponser Father Edward Lynch (77/79)

The 2016 induction dinner will take place on Saturday, March 25 at the Best Western Wayside Inn Banquet Room in Wetaskiwin.

 

Just Posted

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Alberta reports 100 new cases of COVID-19

The Central zone sits at 218 active cases

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read