Sports | DrumhellerMail
05242017Wed
Last updateWed, 24 May 2017 12pm

Baseball season begins for the Drumheller girls softball teams.

20170508 Duke of Edinburgh U14 Baseball 492

Pictured above: Alicia Christensen pitching for the U14 Vipers girls softball team playing against the Trochu White Sox on home turf at the Newcastle Ball Diamonds. (mailphoto by Terri Huxley)

Hey batter batter! The Drumheller girls softball team’s season began last Monday with the season beginning on May 1, as the U14 Pure Venom team played Delburne on home turf in Newcastle.

The league consists of girls ages six to 18 in teams classified as U8, U10, U12, U14, & U16.

President of the Drumheller Girls Softball Association (DGSA) Board, Kent Jensen spoke with the Mail about how the teams are shaping up this year.

“It’s fun – they’re all a bunch of great kids,” said Jensen.

This year, the league has two U8 teams, a U10 team, two U12 teams, two U14 teams, and a U16 team. A U18 team could not be made this year as there was not enough interest so with the U16 girls, they hope to come up and take on the new level of play in the following years to come.

“A lot of the girls from the U16 team next year will go up to that so then maybe we can get enough to set another team up, we can start all over again with that one,” said Jensen.

Jensen contributes the steady incline in interest over the past few years to the popularity in the Toronto Blue Jays as well as players recruiting friends at school or other gatherings.

“It’s just starting to take off again and I think with everybody not travelling everywhere, kind of sticking around home with the way that things have been – it’s not an expensive sport,” said Jensen.

For the U8’s, registration with everything included is only $50.

As president, Jensen is in charge of team and umpire schedules, times, location and registration.

“I need to make sure that everybody else that’s on that diamond is practicing somewhere else that day so that they can actually play their games without any interruption,” said Jensen.

“It’s been an eye opener but no it’s been good,” said Jensen.

Jensen looks forward to seeing the older teams engage and set goals to reach provincials.

“The more teams we can get in there would be ideal,” said Jensen.  

Drumheller itself is in the central Alberta league which includes Hanna, Trochu, Elnora, Delburne, Sylvan Lake, Lacombe, Red Deer.

“It’s fairly widespread,” said Jensen.

The Drumheller U16 girls may have competition this year but is debatable depending on which group they get put into.

“Last year it was Elnora and they took provincials so then they had to go up a level,” said Jensen.

Although the board has no plans for an at-home tournament this season, they are gunning to host provincials next year. Each zone brings roughly two to three teams which could lead to more money coming into the town.

“We were maybe going to start planning and host provincials next year instead of a tournament – we thought we would do the big one and try to host provincials for next year,” said Jensen.

You can catch all the action at the Newcastle Diamonds or little league diamond near the Badlands Community Facility (BCF) on Monday’s and Wednesday’s.

The updated schedule on the website can be found here.


Girls rugby back at DVSS

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    The DVSS girls Rugby team is back on the field for another season, building camaraderie and having fun.
    DVSS has fielded a team since 2014, although last season they teamed up with a Strathmore team because they were short on numbers. It was opportune as they went on to earn a provincial silver medal. They are back on the pitch and enjoying the game.
    “They love the contact! It will surprise you how quickly they adjust to the physical aspect of the game. They also love the team aspect, you are taking girls from all different walks of life and getting them to work together on a common goal,” said coach Ryan Hatch. “I love how this game breaks down the barriers that divide so many of our kids these days, they have to work together to be successful and they get to know each other on a much different level.”
    The popularity of the game has been on the rise over the last few years, especially in the women’s ranks. Coach Hatch attributes that to international success.
    “I think there have been quite a few things that have raised interest but the most prevalent would have been the Canadian women’s 15’s making it to the Women’s Rugby World Cup Finals in 2014-2015,” said Hatch. “It showed a lot of these young women that this game is attainable for each of them. Quite a few of the girls on that team came through programs here in Alberta.”
    He says one value that is learned on the rugby pitch is teamwork.
    “I tell the girls that rugby is the ultimate team sport because no one person can win the game for you, teammates are critical,” he said.
    “This team is a melting pot of cultures, we have a few girls that grew up here in Drumheller on the team but then we have a young lady from Mexico and a few girls from Nigeria on the team.”
    While there is no league, they have been busy organizing exhibition teams from throughout the area.    
    “A league is something that we are looking at doing in the next year or so, but right now we are just playing exhibition games.  Yes, it is hard to find games when you are outside of a major center like Calgary,” he said.
 This Thursday the team is hosting Hanna. Game time is 5 p.m. After that, they are arranging an exhibition match versus a Calgary team the following week.

Drumheller netball claims second at Strathmore tourney

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With less than a year of experience under their belts, the Drumheller netball team participated in their first ever tournament over the weekend and claimed 2nd place.

The team traveled to Strathmore for the four-team tournament, which included the Goslings, The Cygnets, and a Calgary team.   

The Goslings went undefeated and came out with 15 points and first place in the tournament. Drumheller finished with a 2-1 record for seven points. It notched 39 goals, for a second place finish. Calgary finished with 37 goals and the Cygnets scored 29 goals for fourth place.

    April Harrison of the Drumheller team explains there was great camaraderie among the teams and after the tournament games were over, they mixed teams and had a game just for fun, all together.

“I am so incredibly proud of our team and not just because we came second, but because even though we were nervous at the start we really pulled together as a team and put lots of what we'd practiced into action,” she said. “We got better each game we played. We never gave up and our efforts really paid off in the last game, which we won. Most importantly though, we all had fun!"

She says it has been a real privilege to see how everyone has improved over the months and to have the chance to come together as a 'proper' team this weekend.

“We had a great day and met many fantastic people who really welcomed us into the netball 'family.’ We can't wait to play them all again in the autumn and we plan to make the Strathmore tournament an annual event,” she said.

“It's hard to believe that less than a year ago netball didn't exist in Drumheller and yet here we are, second place in our first ever tournament and we're already looking forward to seeing how the sport continues to grow this coming autumn.