The Fort McMurray Peewee AAA Oil Giants are provincial champions.
After a tough start to their tournament, the Oil Giants got some redemption on Sunday – in the form of a gold medal with an 18-8 win over the Calgary Junior Dinos.
Head Coach Adem Campbell tells Mix News final score was not indicative of how close the game really was.
“During the very last inning, it was a 9-7 ball game. I was on pins and needles. Man, I was more nervous coaching than I’d ever been as a player – I was like: ‘holy cow!’ So, going into the top of the seventh, up by 2 and our bats just unloaded.”
Campbell alludes to a ‘three musketeer’-like team mentality to characterize his squad’s perseverance. He says with his team it’s all for one and one for all.
“Collectively, we’re very contagious,” Campbell said. “When we hit, we all hit. When we stink it up – we all stink it up. And I think it’s because the boys really just feel for one another and care for the success of each other. Just a very selfless group and the culture of these kids was just phenomenal. It’s something that I’m very proud to be a part of.”
Now, with the season concluded, Campbell looks forward to some hard-earned down time with his family and he looks forward to what next season will bring.
He feels winning gold will help his team grow as players and as people.
“Baseball is such a mental sport and when you’re putting pressure on yourself, when you’re beating yourself up – it just seems to be that much tougher. So, when you keep it loose and have fun and just enjoy your teammates – the game just comes a lot easier to you. That’s my biggest piece of advice.”
Meanwhile, the Peewee AAA Oil Giants weren’t the only baseball team from Fort McMurray who won gold over the long-weekend.
The Mosquito AA Oil Giants took home gold on Monday with a 21-7 victory over the Rimbey Rays.
“The kids all year have been putting up big numbers, they’re a really good hitting team and they come back with some pretty solid defense,” said Head Coach Brett Fleming.
Carter Breen took home the MVP honours, a feat he says was a bit of a shock.
“It’s not possible winning that without my teammates.”
Fleming notes six of the players will be moving on from the team, including Breen, with most trying out for the Peewee AAA Oil Giants.