By Sandra Crowfoot
After four days of fierce competition, the 2017 Canadian Native Fastball Championships, hosted by the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, came to a close on Monday, Aug. 8 in Edmonton.
The tournament was originally slated to end on Aug. 7, but temperamental weather caused major delays and forced the CNFC organizers to use an extra day to finish the tournament.
There were 86 teams registered to play in five categories: Senior Men, Senior Women, Master Men, Master Women, and Junior Men.
Due to the large number of teams participating in this year's tournament, the categories where divided into two locations: Henry Singer Park hosted the Master Men, Master Women and Junior Men, while John Fry Park hosted the Senior Men and Women.
After heavy rain on Friday and Saturday caused time delays and forced the temporary closure of John Fry Park, quick thinking organizers managed to secure ball diamonds in Nisku to keep the tournament going.
Good sunny weather on Sunday allowed John Fry Park to re-open. Often working late into the night, the CNFC organizers and hundreds of volunteers worked tirelessly to make the tournament a success and a memorable one.
In the Senior Men's category, 29 teams competed for the title. The West Bank Cardinals defeated the NB Petro Hawks in a two game final to win the championship. In the first game, the Petro Hawks won 8-2 but the West Bank Cardinals answered back in the second game and won 7-0 in six innings. The Alexander TeePee Crawlers took 3rd place.
In the Senior Women's category, 25 teams registered to compete. The Alexis Red Nation won over the Diamond Jaxx in a close final, 4-2. This win is the 6th consecutive title win for the Alexis Red Nation. The Angels came in 3rd place.
In the Master Men's category, 12 teams registered to play. Sapotaweyak won 1st place, SKO Vets came in 2nd place, and Goodfish Lake Chiefs placed 3rd.
In the Master Women's category, nine teams were registered. The Northern Black Bears from Alexis defeated the 450 Drifters from Driftpile in a 10-2 final. The Skyhawks came in 3rd place.
In the Junior Men's category, 11 teams were registered. The Lenny Selects won 1st place over Redline in an 11-1 final game. The Big Guy Lake Blazers won 3rd place.