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Ball diamonds sparkle in Fort Garry

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Spring is here and ball diamonds in and around our community are being groomed and cleaned up for another season of fastball, baseball and slo-pitch.


I recently spoke with Cam Leoppky, vice-president of the Southwest Winnipeg Youth Softball Association for an update on the happenings in Fort Garry. The SWYSA consists of community centres from Crescentwood, Fort Garry, Richmond Kings, River Heights, Roblin Park, Sir John Franklin, St. Norbert, Tuxedo, Varsity View, Waverley Heights, Westdale and Macdonald (LaSalle, Sanford, Starbuck, Oak Bluff).


The softball season begins in March or April (depending on weather and the availability of inside facilities) with the regular season games taking place in May and June and the provincial finals slated for July.  


There will be between 400 and 450 girls participating in softball this year in the SWYSA, including about 90 midget players (under-18). The age for midget girls has just been lowered to 18 years of age from 19, so for most of these girls it will be their last year of play. League tryouts took place the first week of April with training camps happening all winter long for catchers and pitchers.


Cam has also been instrumental in bringing fastball to Vincent Massey Collegiate this year.

There are approximately 25 girls who are looking forward to participating at this level. I know many of these girls also play in the SWYSA and in the Manitoba Ladies Super Softball League.


 My conversation with CAm covered early ball practices and one of the best ball fields in our community. Next time you go for a drive, you should head down to the corner of 1377 Clarence Ave. where the Century Arena sits. Nestled behind the arena and along the spruce trees on Hamelin Street is a great ball field.


The ball field and surrounding area has undergone some great improvements the past couple of years under the direction of Bob Chapil and his field crew.


 Volunteers are anxiously waiting for some funding and grants and this will be used to get one the fences at Moffat Field extended to 250 feet.  This year the fields were ready to go on March 19 for Leoppky and his Smitty’s Terminators girls fastball team. He and his volunteer field crew take great pride in the field and I know it is greatly appreciated having had many opportunities to watch Fort Garry teams play there.


Not only is Bob the grounds keeper of Moffat Field, he is also involved in the Winnipeg South Seniors Slo-Pitch League. They meet twice a week at about 11 a.m. and play before it gets too hot. Senior ball players consist of ball players 55 years and older.


For the young at heart, Fort Garry’s 6 & 4 Slo-Pitch League is looking for about six more teams in their A, B, & C Divisions. For your summer fun, the 6 & 4 league begins May 11 and continues until Aug. 20. Pat Horch can be contacted at 287-8316, to sign your team up.


Brenda MacLennan is a community correspondent for Fort Garry. You can contact her at kernb@mymts.net.

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