SUMMERSIDE – It’s a big season for the O’Leary-based Summerside Chrysler Dodge Eagles.
The Eagles, who have won the past three Eastern Canadian men’s titles, are preparing for the North American Fastpitch Association’s (NAFA) World Series in Quad Cites, Iowa, from Aug. 7 to 10.
“This is the next step for the Eagles,” said team manager Eric Gavin. “We have nothing left to prove at the Eastern level, and NAFA will provide us with a huge challenge.”
The majority of teams at the NAFA World Series will come from all over the United States and Canada, but there will be competing teams from as far away as Japan, Argentina and Venezuela.
However, the trip to the world tournament would not be possible without the support of Warren Ellis and Summerside Chrysler Dodge.
Ellis first got involved with the sport of fastpitch 24 years ago. This will be the second time he has funded a trip to a world tournament for a ball team from the West Prince area.
In 2003, the Bloomfield Eagles travelled to Kimberly, Wis., to attend the International Softball Congress (ISC) under-19 world tournament. The Eagles advanced to the championship game, where they lost 5-3.
Fastpitch is making a comeback of sorts in West Prince. Boys’s softball is being played for the first time in nearly a decade with a four-team youth league.
“The Eagles club has brought high-calibre ball back to the West Prince area, and has rejuvenated the sport amongst the youth as the number of youth teams continues to climb every summer,” said Eagles player-coach and O’Leary recreation director Jeff Ellsworth.