Always look on the bright side

A final score wasn’t available by press time but by the time you read this, the first Little League baseball game between two local teams—Super One and the Lions of the ‘Major A’ division (boys aged 11-12)—occurred last night in International Falls.
Chances are, one of those teams got their first win—the first win for any of the five Fort Frances-based teams competing across the river.
It’s been anything but pretty on the field for the new Fort Frances Little League in its “interlocking” games with Falls squads. Each team has played two games so far and has lost by an average of eight, nine, and even 10 runs.
When asked how the games were going, I got a straight answer. “The scores have been lopsided,” observed Dave Sande, who spearheaded the formation of the league earlier this spring and helps out with the Lions team along with Brian Hebert and Murnie Allen.
In this case, I don’t think this is the time to start feeding you stats on how many runs they may have given up in an inning. Or if they’ve made any mistakes on the field.
It’s a learning experience, and I think everyone involved—from the coaches to the youngest player—know that.
“We’ll improve as the season goes on. It’ll come,” said Sande. “We just tell them to go in there and do the best you can. The idea is for everyone to stay upbeat.”
My first hope is that the players aren’t really getting down on themselves because of the losses.
That they’re not questioning their choice to give this game a try. Losing can do that sometimes—especially for those who’ve had success in other sports.
Basically, I hope everyone is still having fun, which is what’s all about.
After a shaky start the league has fielded five full teams and has several players in the girls’ T-ball and softball leagues. That’s saying a lot for a something that was barely nothing just three short months ago.
Word of mouth spreads nicely around here and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more kids enter in the years to come—maybe to the point where our district will sport its own league of entirely Canadian teams.
Until then, I say to the players: Keep your chin up, dust yourself off, and keep stepping up to the plate.
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Still with baseball, Thunder Bay Little League will be holding a one-day seminar there this Satur-day (May 25), in which they’ll be bringing in top trainers from across the country to provide pointers.
All local coaches and managers are welcome to attend. Call Dave Sande at 274-7863 for more info.
• • •
Doug McBride and Steve Ballan were well back at the Sturgeon Bay Open bass tournament in Wis-consin last the weekend. The local duo bagged 24.32 pounds at the two-day event, more than 20 pounds off the winners’ total (45.75 pounds).
Some 240 boats competed.
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A soccer referee clinic will be held at Fort High tomorrow (May 23) from 6:30-9 p.m. The clinic, being run by Muskie girls’ head coach Struchan Gilson, is free to anyone interested in refereeing or being a linesman.
Call Sone Sonnasinh (274-7387) or Kerri Russell (274-5107) for more details.

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