- Errol Kayseas | September 19, 2023
I would like to take this time to introduce myself as the newest sports columnist for Eagle Feather News. I am an avid sports lover and hope to visit several sporting events throughout the year and highlight some of our fine athletes and sports teams.
As summer comes to an end, but before it does, I want to talk fastball.
August was a busy month for many Saskatchewan teams both provincially and nationally, which was great to see.
Ochapowace First Nation revived an old favourite this summer – the FSIN Treaties fastball tournament and fastball enthusiasts couldn’t be happier.
The annual tournament hasn’t been held since 2019 because in 2020 the global pandemic shut down all public events.
It’s clear by the turnout it was missed by players and spectators alike.
In August, 30 teams took to the field, each battling for provincial fastball supremacy.
This included 14 senior men and nine senior women teams, five men’s masters and two master women’s teams.
Despite the competition, it was evident the tournament was more about renewed friendships demonstrated by the handshakes, smiles, laughter and sportsmanship exhibited by the teams.
The senior men’s final was a dandy to watch with two teams from Treaty 4 battling it out.
It was Wacey Strongeagle at the mound for the Pasqua As versus Louis Redman and the Standing Buffalo Dakotas.
Early in the game the Pasqua led by five runs, but that didn’t last long.
At the top of the 4th Redman and the Dakotas scored two runs with two more runs the following inning.
The A’s replied in the bottom of the 5th scoring an insurance run by their chief Todd Piegan crossing Homeplate, making it 6-4.
The Dakotas scored a solo homerun in the top of the 6th inning, once again, making it a one run game.
Standing Buffalo made its final attempt to tie it up and with two out bases loaded and a full count, Wacey Strongeagle struck out one of the Dakotas best hitters to win the Provincial championship for Pasqua.
Senior women’s category: 1st Piapot First Nation, 2nd Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation, 3rd Cote First Nation, All-star outfield Teresa Wesaquate, Best infielder Billy Laswisse, Catcher Jersey Kaiswatum, All-star Pitcher Zadia Tawiyaka and MVP Alissa Kaiswatum
Master lady’s category: 1st SET4 and 2nd YTC, All-star outfield Crystal Bear, All-star infield Sara McKay, Catcher Alissa Favel, Pitcher Myrna Shingoose, and MVP Geneen Sparvier
Master men’s category: 1st Canoe Lake Cree, 2nd Onion Lake Orioles, All-star pitcher Darcy Woodstone, All-star outfielder Quincy Wolf, All-star Infield Morris Iron, Allstar Catcher Shawn Opekokew and MVP Darrell Iron.
Senior Men’s category: 1st Pasqua A’s, 2nd Standing Buffalo Dakotas, 3rd Gordon Hawks, All-star pitcher Louis Redman, All-star infield Randall Kaiswatum, All-star catcher Riley Cyr, All-star outfield Rod Peigan and MVP Wacey Strongeagle,
Shout out to the Ochapowace organizing committee who made sure the fans players and volunteers were fed and watered with pizza, chicken and the always reliable Tim Hortons coffee. I was happy to get a fresh cup of coffee all weekend long, which was the perfect accompaniment when watching the province’s best teams.
During the opening ceremonies held at Bob Van Impe stadium, organizers honoured the ball players who have passed since 2019 made this year’s tournament extra special.
People ask me why I spend time and money on managing a fastball team and it does not take me long to reply with an improvement of our mental health and well-being.
When you are outside it’s good for one’s mental health and overall wellness. Fresh air, exercise and being around others is good as medicine.
We can’t talk about fastball without talking about the Canadian Native Fastball Championships.
The action-packed event took place in the beginning of August in Calgary Alta.
There were some notable Saskatchewan players in this year’s tournament that I got to mention.
The Rez’s Derian Bellegarde-Cote pitched his way to victory in the under 23 division defeating my team Browntown in convincing fashion.
Prince Albert’s Nick Basaraba representing STK in the Senior men’s division helped defeat Treaty 7 River Kings with a mercy in the final.
Matthew Strongeagle was also nominated as All-star left fielder.
Congratulations to everyone and see all you fastball fans at Treaty 4.
For sports tips or upcoming events feel free to send me at email at firstname.lastname@example.org – attention: Errol.