By Doug Kennedy
I am sure sportswriters from across Canada, reporting for small newspapers, are scrambling to write about something or somebody every week. This pandemic seems like it is a long way from being over.
I am lucky enough to be able to write about so many great individuals from our municipality who have helped me fill my column over the last year. I have many more individuals and teams to write about in the next few months, but I am hoping by this fall, teams will be back playing some competitive sports again. If anyone out there knows people I have missed writing about, please let me know.
I am going to try a new idea this week with a new heading –
Did you know……
The PJHL just cancelled their season for this past winter because of a Hockey Canada rule that made them wait until this date so teams could protect their players—how silly is that?
Golf courses are closed until May 20, but there are a lot of petitions online to get this changed. Hopefully this will happen, please sign up.
Curling has had a women’s Scotties tournament, a men’s brier, men’s world and one cash spiel this past weekend without any COVID-19 positive tests. They stopped for a day when there were some false positives.
The Mount Forest Patriots and the Wingham Ironmen took the biggest hit with the lost season and the last two playoffs not being played. Both teams had a solid group of 20 and 21-year-olds.
Hanover and Mitchell signed some junior B players before the February deadline, which might put them at the top of the Pollock division this year. Mitchell would be my bet for first place, as they had a solid nucleus coming back before this signing.
It looks like the OHL will be the only major junior A league in Canada not to play this year.
It looks like the NHL is going to run a camp (possibly 80 players) in an Edmonton bubble before the NHL draft.
At least five quarterbacks could go in the NFL draft, with the possibility the top four picks could be quarterbacks. Kincardine’s Kirsten Grohs, who is the manager of football administration for the Atlanta Falcons, has the fourth overall pick. With an older quarterback in Matt Ryan, it will be interesting to see what they do. They could draft a quarterback, trade the pick or pick the best player available. The draft starts on April 29.
Alliston and Creemore have applied to the WOAA senior League. Sounds like a good fit to me.
Corey Conner, from Listowel, has been in the top 10, in three out his last four starts on the PGA tour. He was also fourteenth at the Valero Texas Open, which he won in 2019.
A new senior league is starting this fall, with players aged 20-26. Jamie Petrie from Stratford is the new president of the league. Strathroy, Stratford, Tillsonburg, Alvinston, Elora and Langton are the first six teams to announce they are in the new WOSHL league. With Elora and Tillsonburg already in the WOAA senior league, it will be interesting what effect this will have.
The Blue Jays started with a great bullpen but with some injuries to three really good relievers, it will make it tougher to stay in the playoff race. Hopefully, they will not be out for too long.
It was a big weekend for Patrick Marleau to break a record, one I thought might never be broken. He passed Gordie Howe in games played in the NHL. If Howe had not gone to the WHA to play with his kids, his record would have been a lot tougher to break.
A league that is in big trouble is the CFL. With owners that probably cannot afford to play with no fans in the stands, it will be interesting to see if the federal government bails them out. This league is full of Canadian players, which would be sad to see it fold.
The Kincardine Bulldogs have signed a solid group of younger players that should help them become a top contender in the next few years.This includes a good group of local players which will really help build a championship team.