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NPSA swings into action

Burnside and executive crew will host seven female squads and six male teams
  • Thela Johnson will now play with the Lady Hitmen when the New Providence Softball Association's season starts on Saturday night. Johnson played with the defending champions, the Proper Care Pool Sharks, last year. FILE PHOTO

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: Apr 21, 2012

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With a number of players switching teams this year, it is hard for executive members in the New Providence Softball Association (NPSA) to pinpoint which squad is the strongest this season.

Top female pitcher Thela Johnson has parted ways with defending champions the Proper Care Pool Sharks and will step on the mound for the Lady Hitmen. Despite Thela Johnson’s departure and the addition of players like Melinda Bastian, to the Lady Hitmen’s roster, newly elected public relations officer Arthur Johnson still believes that the Sharks is strong.

The Sharks will play in the season opener with the Boomer G. Operators tonight. The women’s game will get on the way immediately after the opening ceremony. Veteran player Oria Wood is expected to make the first pitch for this game and Ali Culmer will ‘toss the ball’ to start play on the men’s side.

The new team in the dugout, the Y2 Shipping Bulldogs will go up against the Boomer George Truckers. The opening ceremony is set for 7 p.m. at the Bankers Field, in the Balliou Hill Sporting Complex. Alcott Forbes and veteran pitchers Edney ‘The Heat’ Bethel and Leroy Thompson are on new squads.

“This year we had a lot of player movements so it is hard to say who is the strongest team,” confirmed Johnson. “I think all the teams are strong this year. All the teams have good pitchers who can assist them. Since we had teams not returning those players joined forces with other teams, making those stronger.

“We are looking to have an exciting season. We have a balance now. The balance is even stronger in the ladies division. We did have some changes happening in the men’s division. We expect some upsets and other surprises.”

Seven female teams will compete for bragging rights this season. These squads include the Sharks, Lady Hitmen, Y2 Shipping Wildcats, Sigma Brackette’s, A.S.A.P Assassins, Black Scorpions and the Boomer G Operators. Johnson did confirm that this year’s numbers, on the women’s side, is an improvement from last year. The league has seen a decrease in men’s action. Only six teams will compete, unlike the 2011 season where they had nine. The Outlaws and New Breed are two of the teams not returning this year. Other participating squads are Blue Chip Buccaneers, Y2 Shipping Bulldogs, Boomer G Truckers, Miller Rams, Dorin United Hitmen and the Caribbean Civil Group Mighty Mitts coached by Alphonso ‘Chicken’ Albury.

Executives in the NPSA are hoping to improve the league’s image trying to turn the park into a ‘family atmosphere’. The league’s newly elected president is Godfrey Burnside who is no stranger to the softball park. Burnside will be assisted by Marvin Wood, Vernie Curry, Ken Wood Jr., Andy Percentie, Anthony Bullock, Jeff Henfield, Eric Johnson, Renee Davis, Angelo Dillette and Lawrence Smith.

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