After disruption, Power Outage quells Storm for Softball title

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Power Outage after beating Storm 12-2, to retain their Softball title

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Almost three months after taking a 2-1 lead in the Virgin Islands Softball-Baseball Association League Championships Series, Power Outage finally claimed the title with a 12-2 victory over Storm on Saturday night, to retain the title they won in 2017. The association provided no statistics on the game.

“It’s been a long ride. Covid caused us to close the league for quite some time, especially when we had the surge where we lost a lot of lives,” Power Outage Coach Roy Barry told Island Sun Sports. “Fortunately we’ve been able to come back and here we are now champions. It was difficult (returning from the break) I know most of my guys were rusty because we didn’t practice that much, just relied on talent coming out here tonight. It’s great. It’s always great to be a champion so we’re gonna go out and party and get ready for the next season.”

Despite the lengthy break, Barry said Darel Robinson—who was a bit timid about starting—gave them seven strong innings and he had the confidence in Robinson’s abilities. He said regarding the offense, he said the team hit very well despite not practicing. Barry noted that in the first inning, most of them were saying they’re out of shape.

“I said let’s stick with it and we’re gonna get there,” he said of his team, the core of which won the 2017 title. “I think that’s what really made us so strong. Once you can keep that core together and you add pieces here and there, it’s always going to be difficult to beat us, because these are guys who have been playing together for quite some time. They know each other and they know exactly what to do to pick up each other.”

Storm’s View

Storm player Coach Allen “Woodrow” Smith, said he’s glad the league is finally over after the lengthy break as he didn’t have the services of several players.

“I just came to play just to finish the league because I really didn’t have a competitive team to play against those guys and managed to show up with a team and tired a thing,” Smith noted. “Six of my players are off island and one is in quarantine and those are my key players. When you lose seven key players—all your outfield is gone, half of the infield out—you only can do what you can do.”

Storm was a new team Smith brought into the league, getting them to gel with different attitudes, personalities and everything, they did good and said he’s proud of them.

“We’re right here till the last ball pitched,” Smith noted. “Other teams (have) been in the league (longer) but we were able to fight until the last ball pitched and I’m proud of my guys and I told them so. I’m not holding my head down. It just ended this way just because of all that happened with the break and guys had to travel and other obligations, I can’t be vexed. It’s all good.”

Johnson Retires

As the season ended for Storm, it was the end of a 50 year softball career for Catcher Sylvester “Bucker” Johnson.

“I already told the guys this is the last game I’m playing because playing this sport, you have to have some kinda time to practice—practice means a lot to the game,” noted Johnson who helped the Byrds to four straight titles in 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984. “If you don’t practice, you can’t perform. I learned that in my young career coming up, so that’s why I could give it up and talk about it like that.”

Besides the Byrds who established a record four straight victories that haven’t been matched and Johnson also helped them to titles in 1979 and 1989, he played on championship teams with the Hurricanes in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012.

“I had a great career because I had a lot of fun, with the Byrds and Hurricanes and even with Storm,” Johnson told Island Sun Sports. “But the Byrds and Hurricanes, I can tell anybody, you must practice to maintain whatever you want to maintain. To be a good athlete, you must practice. I have no regrets. I had fun. I just want to tell the young guys, they have to practice. If you don’t practice, you can’t do what you want to do. You can’t sparkle.”

Smith described Johnson as a ‘champion at heart’ not just because of titles won. “The reason is, he’s almost 70 years, bending down behind the plate catching. He’ll come here and say: ‘if you need somebody to play, I got you,’” smith pointed out. “When the league started, he was to start third base or as a utility player. He chipped in. fought, stuck in there just because he’s a fighter—that’s the kind of player he is. The sport is going to miss people like him, Sheep (Neville Smith) and I when we leave, but, with age, you eventually have to move on. As good as you are, the time will come when you have to say goodbye.” 

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