Vikings begin NSSAF run

Dave Mathieson
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AMHERST?- The defending NSSAF champs in boy's high school slo-pitch softball will be on the road Thursday morning, hoping to take one step closer to another provincial championship.
The Amherst Regional High School Vikings will travel to New Glasgow for the regional championships where they will play a best-of-three series against Northumberland High School.
"The kids are focused and they've been working really hard," Vikings' coach Charlie Chambers said. "Some of the kids are saying we're stronger than we were last year. I don't want to put a jinx on it but we're pleased with where we're at right now."
ARHS won the Division 1 provincial championship banner four of the last five years. They won last year, didn't win the previous year but won the three years before that.
"We've been very successful, knock on wood," Chambers said.
Chambers, along with Brian Jones, has been co-coaching the boy's softball team at ARHS for several years and attributes much of their success to schools in the county.
"We're very fortunate we get to play the county teams," Chambers said. "It gives everyone on the team a chance to get their timing down and fine tune different aspects of their game."
The Vikings softball team carries 12 players, seven of whom are back from last year.
"We have a good nucleus that came back," Chambers added.
The team is all seniors except for Grade 9 student Tyler Skinner.
They also have several players who play baseball.
"There's no junior softball programs in Amherst, so almost all of them have experience with baseball," Chambers said. "Devin Ferguson is playing junior baseball in Moncton, we have three other kids playing Midget AAA baseball in Truro and Halifax and a couple of the other kids are playing for the Dooly's team here in town.
The Vikings will play the first of three games at 11 a.m. with the second game beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Both the Vikings and Vikettes softball teams will host the Division 1 provincial championships June 6 and 7.

Organizations: Amherst Regional High School Vikings, Northumberland High School

Geographic location: AMHERST, New Glasgow, Moncton Truro

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