Whew, what a great time at the first ever Alberni Valley Bulldogs Alumni weekend!
Things all started Friday with a bus trip down to Parksville for an entertaining game of Alumni Shinny.Players taking part were: Ram Sidhu, Tyler Milford, Josh Bonar, Chris Demoe, Tyler Boice, Joe Scali, Matt Auerbach, Stephen Pattison, Daniel Moriarty, Marcello Ranallo, Rob Woods, Croft Kurka, Bert Watkins, Dan Wallace, Jordan Kremyr, Brad Herman, Andrew Riddell, Braydn Melsrose and Jim Patterson.
Special guests included referees (blind, slow, with poor balance and running video cameras) Tom McEvay and myself. And someone who was at least paying attention, Steve Bratt. Bulldog goaltender Frank Slubowski was a late replacement for Brian Stewart, who had better things to do. Like CANUCKS PROSPECTS CAMP. More on that later, but a huge congrats to Stewie for getting an invite.
The game was a little of everything - up and down, side to side, etc etc etc. The next day it was off to the Alberni Golf Club for the 1st ever Alumni Golf Challenge.
I don't even know where to begin with golf. Lets start with a tip o' the cap to my teammates - Bert Watkins, Josh and Gord Bonar, and Alberni Golf Club Head Pro Bruce MacDonald. OF COURSE we won the thing at 10 under par, look at all that talent. EVERYONE pulled their weight. "Watty" made a couple key putts as did Gord Bonar, with a putt to remember on the ridiculously tough 10th green. I was the "drive for show" guy, and Bruce MacDonald was the "chip (and putt, and short game) for dough" guy. Josh was the all around guy, crushing a couple of drives.
A couple highlights. On the 18th hole, I crushed a drive over 300 yards. Here I was, thinking I was the hero. The first four players of the group go next trying to get us on the green from just 49 yards out. And we all fail. Up comes the pro. It looked good right off the club. It hit the green and bounced once, twice, and then started rolling. We all started screaming GET IN THE HOLE and the next thing you know, that baby disappeared into the cup for an Eagle 2. And the celebration was on.
Another highlight was on the 16th fairway, as we played the 15th hole, when Gord Bonar lost his grip on the club (at least that's what I think happened) and the club hit the turf and bounced INTO the water. But Watty saved the day with a daring rescue of the club. With how Gord hit it all day, I'm not sure why he'd want it back ;)
The final highlight came on the 6th hole. We had a nice drive by Bruce up the middle, and we needed a good shot to give us a good chance at birdie because we knew that a couple of teams were posting low scores. As we reached our ball in the fairway, we were quite rudely besieged by a group heading up number seven who came over to our ball to spectate. Croft Kurka, Grant Coates, Joe Scali, Devin Timberlake, Jordan Kremyr and Larry Doucette were the guilty party. Sorry if I missed anyone, but it was quite the circus. We tried to hit our shots, and none of them were pretty good. Bruce then stepped up to hit, and was CHALLENGED by Croft Kurka that he couldn't put the ball within five feet from a 100 or so yards out.
Never challenge the pro. Bruce answered the challenge of the *ahem* "friendly" bet and got ready to hit. With anything less than your average golf gallery looking on. And yelling on. And on and on. Bruce checked the wind, and even changed clubs from his original selection. And then WACK, he hit it to within 2 feet. Maybe 1. And that's why he's the pro Kurka. haha.
Another highlight of the day was the unveiling of the new Bulldogs jerseys, as modelled below by current Dogs Robert Lindores and Warren Muir. I know, I know, it's 100% impossible to please EVERYONE with a jersey design. But, as always, I LOVE IT.
Former Bulldog Trainer Matt Auerbach, now with the Chilliwack Bruins joins the picture.
Huge thanks to Dennis See, Tom McEvay, the See Group of Companies, the Alberni Golf Club and their incredible staff, and all the sponsors and fans that supported the event.
Here's hoping it can become something that happens every year, or at least every other year.
As mentioned above, former Dog Brian Stewart was supposed to attend the weekend, but he "got the call" to attend the Vancouver Canucks prospect camp. That's huge news for Stewie, and great news for the Bulldogs to have one of their alumni in an NHL camp.
How about TWO former Bulldogs attending NHL camps?! Yes, it's true. Former Bulldog Maury Edwards has been invited to the Columbus Blue Jackets camp. Congrats to both players, and good luck!
Last but not least for now - The Alberni Wrestling Club's Kid Wrestling Camp!
Free Summer Kid’s Wrestling Camp July 7-9
The Alberni Wrestling Club is once again hosting their annual Kids Wrestling Camp July 7-9th in the ADSS gymnasium. The camp will run over three days from 10am to 12 pm and will feature instruction from local coaches, alumni, and high school wrestlers. As well as learning some basic wrestling moves and technique, the camp participants will also partake in fun wrestling themed activities.
During the month of June, high school wrestlers visited the local elementary schools to introduce and promote the sport of Olympic wrestling. Through games and skill development the participants were given the opportunity to try the sport while being in a fun and safe environment.
"When we [the wrestling club] introduce wrestling at elementary schools and the kids camp, we always stress the importance of fun and safety," explains Cody McEvay a current ADSS high school wrestler and one of the summer workers in the Alberni program. "We always go through a proper warm-up and stretch to limit the possibility of injury and try hard to reveal the enjoyment of wrestling rather than the competitive side."
The camp will be a great opportunity for kids to stay active and meet new friends over the summer break. For some it will serve as a kick start to summer and being a part of the wrestling programs at the local middle schools. Others may come to simply enjoy participating in the fun games. The camp focuses on participants in Grades 4 -7, although there are some cases where younger and older athletes have been involved.
If you already feel like you would benefit from some time away from your kids over the summer, this would be a perfect event to take part in. The camp will run from 10 am to 12 pm all three days with registration being held each day starting at 9:30. There are registration forms available at the gymnasium which needs to be filled out by a parent/guardian. Participants are asked to bring gym strip and clean running shoes. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact Cody McEvay at 250 724 0577.