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Placentia finding its place in fastpitch once more

Winnipeg — It is to softball what St. Lawrence has long been to soccer.

Paul King

But fastpitch softball isn’t quite what it once was in Placentia, although there are signs the game is turning around.

Donny King

And one of those indications is here in Winnipeg, at the 2017 Canada Summer Games.

The Newfoundland and Labrador softball team has four Placentia natives on the playing roster – Jordan Pomeroy, Brent Hatfield, Nick Pittman and Andrew Kelly. And yes, Pittman and Kelly are of the Pittman and Kelly clans from Fox Harbour.

On top of that, the coaches — brothers Donny and Paul King — are from Placentia.

“It seems like, from what I’m hearing with the coaching in the Placentia area, the younger groups are starting to get going again,” said Paul King.

“There’s a peewee group, a bantam group and a midget group. Softball is alive and well in Placentia.”

Paul King is coaching along with his brother, Donny King, a soon-to-be 47-year-old left-handed pitcher still chucking in the St. John’s senior men’s league.

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Donny King is still playing after dressing for Newfoundland at the 1989 Saskatoon Games.

“I still have a passion for it,” he said. “I really enjoy it, and with this team, I enjoy the camaraderie with the young fellows and passing on the wisdom and the lessons that I’ve learned over the years.

“I wanted to come back with these guys just to relive those Canada Games moments, and be with my brother, of course. All these kids are young, and they’re where I was nearly 30 years ago.”

In addition to pitching local ball, Donny King is also looking after the Waterford Valley minor association.

“It’s never a chore going to the ball park,” he said.

As for Paul King, he’s busy, too, at the ballpark four nights per week coaching, and he still gets to scratch the playing itch with a game of slo-pitch every now and again.

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