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Brookfield’s Sears to represent Canada at world junior fastpitch tournament in Saskatchewan

Rowan Sears, middle, shown here with the Colchester Royals, will play for Canada at the world junior men's fastpitch championship.
Rowan Sears, middle, shown here with the Colchester Royals, will play for Canada at the world junior men's fastpitch championship. - Joey Smith

Rowan Sears is heading west with his sights set on the 2018 WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship, taking place in Prince Albert, Sask., July 7 to July 15.

Sears, selected last August to play for Canada, is excited.

“I think it will be great seeing how we stack up against the rest of the world,” Sears, 18, of Brookfield, said. “These will be the best players in the world playing against each other, I like the idea of being part of it. We’ve trained really hard to get ready, in only a few days we leave – I’m really excited.”

Sears spoke about preparing for the event.

“For the past couple months players were flown to Toronto on three occasions to train. On our last trip during the long weekend in May – we played in a tournament. We won our division, it went pretty well. It felt really good to be on the field – playing games with all the guys.”

A flight Monday will land Sears in Saskatoon, joining his Canadian teammates.

 “We’ll be practicing a lot and playing some exhibition games, then it’s on to Prince Albert for more practice and more exhibition games. We’ll play two pre-tournament games against Japan. It’s crazy, I’m really looking forward to the ball ahead.”

Championship play will take place at Max Power Ball Parks, at Prime Ministers Park. There are four diamonds, three fields have lights. About 10 of Sears’ family plan to attend the national event which has Canada playing in group B and includes New Zealand, USA, Czech Republic, Guatemala and Hong Kong. Group A is made up of Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Denmark, South Africa and India. Japan is defending world junior men’s champions, having defeated New Zealand 2-1 in the championship game in 2017.

Locally, Sears plays for Colchester Royals, an under-19 team who play in the Shooters Bar & Grill Fast-Pitch League. Upon returning home from Prince Albert he will join the under-23 East Hants Mastodons who are scheduled for national tournament play in Quebec beginning July 31.

Next, Sears will be off to Napanee, Ont., for the under 19 nationals with his own Colchester Royals team. Play gets underway Aug. 14.

“It really is going to be a very busy year for ball,” Sears said. “I’ll only get to spend about three weeks at home this summer. But, I like to be on the ball field, I want to work hard and improve. It seems like I’ve been training for a long time – this is the way I like it -- playing a lot of ball.”

Completing Grade 12 earlier this week at South Colchester Academy, Sears, named the school’s 2018 Senior Athlete of The Year, will attend University of New Brunswick next fall, studying business.

* * * *

David “Woody” Law, 73, of Upper Stewiacke, passed away May 26, 2018. The self-employed dairy farmer had a reputation of being willing to drop the shovel at any time to help another person.

Law, who enjoyed hockey, grew up in Brookfield and as former teammate Vaughan “Gab” Matheson recalled,  Woody played a lot of ground hockey when he was a kid.”

Law, a defenceman, was older than most players when he reached organized hockey. In March of 1969 he played with the Brookfield Elks against the Sydney Alpines In

a best-of-five Nova Scotia intermediate A championship series. Game 5 In Sydney drew more than 3,000 fans. In that game Law reasoned that one of the Alpines players was trying to taunt one of the Elks star players into a fight, to get him out of the game.

“You want to fight someone – try me,” Law exclaimed as he quickly climbed over the boards.

The two players dropped their gloves and went at it. As things would turn out the Elks won the game 4-0, clinching the N.S. title. Law had played an important role.

“Woody loved to play hockey,” Win Matheson, a former teammate with Middle Stewiacke Cougars of the South Colchester District Hockey League, recalled. “Woody played an aggressive game, he was rough and ready. Never a friend of the referees, Woody was a very determined player who always showed up and gave it his best.”

Yes, that’s how many of us remember Woody – showing up and giving it his best.

Lyle Carter’s sports column appears Saturdays in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902-673-2857.

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