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2017 Inductees
Cole Brown
77-79 Fastball


1977 Wetaskiwin Legion Bantam Fastball Team
1979 Wetaskiwin Sport Shop Midget Fastball Team


Provincial Champions 1977
Provincial Champions 1979
Western Canadian Champions 1977
Western Canadian Champions 1979

The 1977 Wetaskiwin Legion Bantam and the Wetaskiwin Sport Shop Midget Fastball Teams are being inducted into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame for winning two Provincial Titles and two Western Canadian titles.  To date they are the only teams that have been inducted that were able to win both the Provincial and the Western Canadian Championships and incredibly they were able to accomplish the feat twice!   Although not all of the men being inducted played on both teams a core group were members of both teams.  When the boys were younger, some of them were also together on teams that won the provincial title in 1973 as Mites and again in 1975 as Peewees.  Congratulations are warranted for the group of men that are being inducted for their triumphs as teenagers .

Unbeatable Pitching Strength and Batting Power

The 1977 Bantam team went undefeated in both the Provincial Championships and the Western Canadian Championships, an incredible accomplishment!  In advancing to the Provincials, the Bantams defeated Brockville in two straight.  In the Alberta play-downs they swept the title in three games, winning 10-1, 6-1 and 2-1 against Calgary and Edmonton’s best.  In the three day Western Canada Championships held in Saskatoon the Legion Bantams had the pitching strength and the batting power the other teams never had.  They were by far the best team in the tournament and defeated Port Alberni in the final game 8-2.

Impressive Comeback to Win Five Straight Games

In 1979 the Midgets were also undefeated in the Provincial Championships.  In winning the tournament the Sport Shop beat Ardrossan 11-1, edged Grand Prairie 2-0 and beat Edmonton 12-6.  In the final game they defeated Grande Prairie 17-9 after Grand Prairie had jumped into a 6 point lead in the first inning!  At the Western Canadians held in Campbell River the Midgets lost their first two games and then won five in a row to take the championship.  After losing 3-0 to Saskatchewan and 1-0 to Manitoba they defeated Campbell River 9-0, British Columbia 13-0 and Campbell River 2-1 to end the preliminaries.  In the play-offs they beat Saskatchewan 3-2 and edged Campbell River 2-1 for the second time on their route to the gold medal. 

Coach Uses Inventive Winter Drills to
Prep Players For Outdoor Fastball Season

The head coach of both the Bantam and the Midget teams was Al Arner.  As we all know, Al was a hard task master.  According to the Times article written after the Sport Shop Midget Provincial Championships, “Some people would accuse Al Arner of being a slave-driver.  Quite a few, as a matter of fact, would point a finger at the coach of the Sport Shop midgets and whisper about his methods of coaching”.   However, the boys must have respected Al and his coaching as before the 1978 season, Al fell out of a tree, broke his arm and consequently did not coach.  Most of the players took the 1978 year off and then played again in 1979 when Al was back at the helm. Al started the boys playing inside in January and had many inventive drills to prepare the boys for the outdoor season. Al was certainly a factor and a positive influence in the accomplishments of the Legion Bantam and Sport Shop Midget teams.  Credit should also be given to the assistant coaches and managers of the 1977 and 1979 teams, as well those who coached the boys when they competed at the younger levels, as they all contributed to the successes of these two teams.

The players on these two teams learned the value of participating in team sports and have encouraged their own children to become involved.  Many of these men have given back to the community by coaching teams or becoming involved in the administrative aspect of community recreation thereby passing on lessons they learned. 

We applaud both of these teams for their amazing achievement of winning these championships. Winning and competing at this level required effort, dedication, practice, team spirit, exceptional coaching, parental support, as well as natural talent.  These boys had it all and are certainly deserving of the honor of being inducted into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame.

Team Members are:  Danny Anderson (77/79), Allen Bailer (77/79), Darrel Campbell (79), Keith Clark (77),Dean Colborne (77/79),  Brian Cooke (79), Mazen Debaji (77/79),  Eldon Dumkee (77/79), Dean Fonteyne (79),  Doug Ganske (79), Mike Gates (77), Scott Hagstrom (79), Barry Hebner (77/79), Darrell Knapp (77), Dexter Knull (77),  Kevin Lonsdale (77/79), Warren Moan (77), Jim Pocock (77), Chris Smeaton (77), Doug Summers (79),  Colin Wark (79), Jim Woitt (77/79)  Coach Al Arner (77/79), Assistant Coach Raymond Bailer (77), Assistant Coach Bruce Rogers (79), Coach Val Fonteyne (75), Sponsor Father Edward Lynch (77/79)

1977 Wetaskiwin Legion Bantam Fastball Team
(Click to enlarge photos and view names of players)

1979 Wetaskiwin Sport Shop Midget Fastball Team
(Click to enlarge photos and view names of players)





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