Catch You on the Rebound
By CURTIS J. PHILLIPS, Connect Contributor
In 1982, Michael Jackson had just released his album: “Thriller” and Herschel Walker was the recipient of the Heisman Trophy. This same year, Catch You on the Rebound sent out its inaugural Fort McMurray Christmas Wish List to the local sports community.
So, with no further ado… here for the 34th consecutive time, I send out the following stocking stuffers.
- Full recovery for mixed martial arts competitor and local fire fighter Bo Cooper, as he kicks butt of acute lymphoblastic leukemia for the third and final time.
- Wins. Wins for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. You can do it!
- Ticket sales to go through the roof (and a sold-our crowd on May 27, 2016 at Shell Place) when the Fort McMurray Giants debut in the Western Major Baseball League against defending champ Lethbridge Bulls.
- “Downtown Freddy Brown” shootouts for the Keyano Huskies men’s basketball team, ranked No. 8 in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association polls, when they tipoff against the best-of-the-best from coast-to-coast-to-coast with the hosting of the 2016 CCAA Men’s Basketball Championships on March 16 to 19, 2016.
- Snow, snow and more snow for Kevin Grogan, and the good folks out at Vista Ridge – All Seasons Park.
- Chris Phillips to return to the Ottawa Senators lineup with a healthy back, so he can play at least 21 games to make it a solid 1,200 NHL regular season game career.
- Dance of the Mighty Zulu warrior for the Fort McMurray Knights.
- Extra weights on the bar for powerlifters Shane Dixon, Tony Perry and Dr. Derek MacNeill.
- That the Fort McMurray Cricket Club names their league trophy after a long time resident who passed away in 1997 – James “Puss” Parris. Sir Garfield Sobers, considered by many to be cricket’s greatest player, said that he learned how to bowl watching Parris in the West Indies.
- Air Miles galore for world champion, too many to count, jet ski racer Mike Klippenstein.
- Hole in ones a plenty, and greener than greens, for Fort McMurray Golf Club and Miskanaw Golf Course.
- Smooth jumps and landings for the McMurray Dirt Riders Club out at Valiant Memorial Park way.
- Touchdowns galore and a solid defence as the Fort McMurray Monarchs Football Club win’s a provincial title in 2016!
- Continued ‘Well Wishes’ to Canadian Tire Jumpstart and KidSport Wood Buffalo for unlocking the age of enthusiasm in local youth with their sponsorships.
- That FC Edmonton return to Fort McMurray Shell Place for a pro soccer game.
- Spikes, spikes and more spikes for the Fort McMurray Thunder Volleyball Club.
- A few more years of hockey, 14 and counting, of lacing up the skates for Dan Stewart, now playing for the Fife Flyers in Scotland.
- Knights, rooks, queens, bishops, ponds and kings for the Fort McMurray Chess Club.
- A spot in Sports Illustrated annual swim issue for fitness expert, bikini model and former pro football player Annik Nayler.
- Fresh snow and smooth trails for the Ptarmigan Nordic Ski Club.
- Sponsorships and medals for our various national and international athletes, including Mycal Dyck, cycling; Graeme Killick, cross country skiing; Jason Loutitt, multi-sport endurance and Brooke Voigt, snowboarding.
- Inflated soccer balls and level pitches for Fort McMurray Youth Soccer.
- Return of MMA cards in 2016 for Bowman’s Mixed Martial Arts.
- Track opening for the Fort McMurray Speedway Park as the ghosts of Clearwater Car Club wait.
- Keep that basketball jersey on hold for me to the Fort McMurray Filipino Canadian Sports Association.
- No broken bones for combat groups like the Fort McMurray Shotokan Karate Association, Ni Ten Judo Club and Sweet Science Boxing Inc.
- Hard to believe that is year No. 12 in the NHL for Scottie Upshall. His stocking stuffer is for him to stay a while in St. Louis with the Blues, in that he has been in six different cities since entering the show
- Bucking broncs and bulls for Tour North Rodeo.
- Poles, skis and the wind against your face for the Fort McMurray Ski Team and Fort McMurray Competitive Ski Club.
- Less, not more, bumps and bruises for the Tarsand Betties of roller derby fame.
- Clean sheets and a strong broom for Lori Olson-Johns, playing third for the famed Valerie Sweeting rink.
- Challenge Cup success for Father Patrick Mercredi Community High School, Fort McMurray Composite High School, Holy Trinity Catholic High School and Westwood Community High School from yours truly, one of the Founding Fathers way back in 1983.
- Gee and Haw for Ladouceur’s Tar City Kennels sled dogs.
- Hockey heroes turned to the coaching ranks. Lots of chalk and wins for A.J. Aitken and Nolan Pratt.
- More memberships for the YMCA Wood Buffalo.
- A few more local rinks for Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association, Fort McMurray Ringette Association, Noralta Figure Skating Club and adult hockey.
- No leaks and two paddles for the Borealis Canoe Club.
- Strong wrists and technique for members of the Fort McMurray Arm Wrestling Association.
- Heartfelt thanks to the good folks at the Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame for keeping the legacy of sports alive.
- Success and growth for all of the clubs and activities, be it ball hockey, dance, dodgeball, fitness, futsal, rock climbing, squash, yoga etc. offered at MacDonald Island and the Syncrude Sport & Wellness Centre.
- Fresh air climbs for re-known mountaineer Al Hancock.
- A healthy pitching arm for Shane Dawson Jr. as he continues to showcase his skills as one of the best in the minor league baseball ranks with the goal to crack the Toronto Blue Jays roster.
- Perfect 10s for the tumblers at Norfort Gymnastics Club.
- Special times and special memories for Fort McMurray Special Olympics.
- Long drives and short putts for pro golfer Stuart Anderson.
- Smooth waters and records galore for the Fort McMurray Manta Swim Club and Young Aquatic Club.
- Triple Crown appearances for thoroughbred owner Danny Dion.
- Plenty of bright lights for night games behind the bat for baseball, slo-pitch and softball.
- For former Oil Baron Colton Parayko to have a long career in the NHL, now playing for the St. Louis Blues.
- Winning bids to host the 2017 Alberta 55 Plus Games and the 2018 Alberta Winter Games.
- For someone, somewhere, in power, have a local recreation facility named in honour of John Wilson. While we are at it, add on Bob Campbell.
To those in other local sports: be it archery, badminton, biathlon, billiards, Black Powder shooting, BMX, darts, fencing, fishing. Flag football, Gaelic Football, handball, luge, pickle ball, RC racing, rowing, scuba diving, skateboarding, ski bobbing, snowmobiling, tennis, track and field, triathlon, water skiing, wrestling and the list goes on-and on, have a festive holiday and an amazing 2016.
Catch you on the rebound.
– Connect Weekly –