Monthly Archives: June 2016

Top Ten Tuesday – No Garth… OK One Garth

Wow a week filled with highs and lows in and around Toon-Town last week. Time for my weekly recap and a warning if you are looking for a break from the Garth Brooks in Saskatoon stuff he does make his way into this week’s top 10 along with talk of a new downtown venue for Saskatoon.

That and more in my top 10 musings from the week that was in no particular order.

10 – First off need to start with condolences to the family of Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe. I was fortunate enough to be in his presence on a handful of occasions. Of course, the most memorable was in the early 2000’s when he was the guest of the Saskatoon Blades at a hockey game. I knew that I was going to have a chance to meet him following our post-game show in the Blades offices and even was going to have a chance to ask a couple of questions for a feature that we would run later that season. After Les Lazaruk and I quickly wrapped up the post-game portion of the broadcast to get to the reception I needed to make a pit stop. Never being “the guy to ask the dumb question,” I was going over in my head some ideas of what I was going to ask the legend. After finishing the job I began making my way out to the office, obviously with my head down. That’s where I ran into Howe, literally! I tried to say something coherent and called him Mr. Howe-Key and mentioned that it was a great deal of my pleasure to meet him and something way more embarrassing, I’m sure. After babbling for what felt like an eternity Mr. Howe smiled ear to ear (you know the one that lights up a room) threw up his patented elbow and passed me into the washroom.  Later in the interview he talked about composure under pressure setting the great ones apart with a huge smile on his face while I probably soiled myself! Doh!

9 – Its’ too bad that a person’s death is the time when we further think of honouring someone. I read an article this week pondering whether or not the NHL should retire the number 9 for Gordie Howe like they did the 99 for Wayne Gretzky. Great question, better point.

Wednesday Night At The Races

Tired of dinner and a movie as the only option during the week? Wyant Group Raceway added another option this week with Wednesday night racing. This of course clears the track on the weekend for the Shrine Circus Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday we focused on the Saskatoon Shrine Club Sask Legends and they didn’t disappoint as they put on some tight action packed racing. Wait a minute…. we were supposed to see 20 clowns come out of one of the Legends cars. That didn’t happen.

None of the divisions racing Wednesday evening disappointed race fans.
Even though Jim Barnsley won all three races in the Golf’s Car Wash Mini Stock division, he had to work his way to the front in every race, with both the #4 of Shawn Magee and #23 of Cole Nixey making that task extremely difficult. A couple of times it looked like Barnsley’s winning streak would come to an end, but alas he made it a perfect nine in a row.

The Law Enforcement Guardian Bandoleros have become a fan favorite, evidenced by the animated cheering from the crowd during their races.
Their skill and confidence grows with each race. The cars being so small, each move in and out of other cars looks gigantic.

Tun Maung, who drives the #1 Law Enforcement Guardian Bandolero has a large following amongst the fans. This is of course the young driver who didn’t know the difference between the brake and gas pedal only three weeks ago. Tonight he won the qualifier race and was on his way to winning the feature when he spun with a couple of laps remaining, putting him to the back of the field without enough time to recover. He did get back to a fifth place finish though.

Ty Stewart, in the #14 Country Style BBQ Bandolero won the heat and feature.

The #49 of Shantel Kalika won the Tiger Automotive Pro Truck heat race, with the #01 of Alex Leschenko taking the qualifier. It was a photo finish in the feature as Kalika and Anderson battled through corners three and four, back and forth for the lead. At the line though it was the #19 of Aaron Anderson across first by mere inches. Shantel had the edge before and after the line, but it’s that first nose over the line that counts.

In the Saskatoon Shrine Club Sask Legends, it was AJ Morrison and Blake Erb trading places all night. Morrison took the #84 to the line first in time trials and the qualifier, but it was Erb’s #21 Legend winning the heat and feature races.

Racing action is back at the Wyant Group Raceway next weekend, with the Sky Financial Series Astro Towing 150 Saturday June 18. The late models are joined by the Golf’s Car Wash Mini Stocks, the Tiger Automotive Pro Trucks and the Shell Nitro V-Power Sportsman Divisions. Gates open at
4:30 with the first green flag at 6:05pm

Complete Results:

Golf’s Car Wash Mini Stock Division:

Young Racer Ready To Give Back

One of the most important and valuable things that an athlete can do is give back. And a 10-year-old races in Saskatoon is doing just that.

#93 Bandalero driver  Ryley Schneider is going to be raising funds for Autism prior to his race at Wyant Group Raceway on Wednesday night. He is going to be selling puzzle piece decals (puzzle pieces are the Autism symbol) that he will put on the back of his car for the rest of the season.

Through support from his Dad Ron, Ryley has taken on raising funds on his own and has already appeared at a number of events. Helping support Autism and giving back to his sponsors AGI Insurance and Burco Electric not to mention all of his family and friends who are supporting him.

Top 10 Tuesday: Talking Champions, Expectations AND The Late Ernie Harwell

Well there is a LOT of things going on in Toon-Town and the national sporting scene at the moment and in that vein it is my look at the top 10 observations from the week that was. In no particular order.

10 – Starting things off of the asphalt where I had a chance to announce my first race at the newly named Wyant Group Raceway. What an intriguing experience to be in the tower and hear the story behind the action. With that being said Richard Woodbine is a true treasure and amazing book of knowledge. The track is better for his efforts not to mention all of the great volunteers.

9 – I have tried to sneak into a couple of Rider work-outs to see who is who and what is what. It is pretty clear from the outside looking in that the Riders have some work to do. Fortunately for them I think that Chris Jones and company will be afforded a season or so to right the ship. The team is a work in progress and it could be a tough start to the campaign as the team gels.

8 – I still will wonder what might have been had Darian Durant, Sea Emery, Kevin Glenn, et all were dealt serious injury at the start of the season. With all of that being said I think the one area that the Green and White are focusing on shoring up is Quarterback. GM/Head Coach Jones knows the importance of a quality back-up in the CFL.

7 – More on the Riders and I applaud their stance on hold-out,

Rider Re-Cap – Roster Moves, Work-Out Recaps

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have made the following transactions:

Add to the Roster
International offensive lineman Marcus Hall (#51 – 6.05/315 – Ohio State)
International quarterback Phillip Sims (#19 – 6.04/220 – Winston Salem State)
International receiver Devrin Young (#87 – 5.08/175 – Tennessee)

Delete From Roster
International receiver Marcus Davis
National linebacker Marvin Golding
International quarterback Jacob Huesman
International receiver Alec Lemon

Rush Set To Celebrate

The Saskatchewan Rush will be hosting a Champions Cup Rally at Bessborough Gardens on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 to celebrate their 2016 Championship and honour the fans in this historic first season.

Mark Matthews, Robert Church and Nik Bilic will be in attendance along with the Champions Cup so fans can have a chance to take keepsake photos. Following the event, the trophy will be at the Rush office for fans to come by get photos with for a few days before it heads out of town for a players tour with members of the Saskatchewan Rush.

Mayor Don Atchison will be on hand to bring greetings from the City of Saskatoon. Lee Genier will bring greetings from the Saskatchewan Rush. John Fraser will host the rally as the MC and DJ Anchor will be playing music and keeping the crowd pumped up.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 7

WHAT: Saskatchewan Rush Champions Cup Rally

TIME: 11:30am-1:00pm

WGR Week 2 Recap

The sun may have been shining down, but so too the wind was blowing throughout the day at Wyant Group Raceway as race teams tuned their cars and trucks in preparation for the first Saturday night racing of the
2016 season.

The Super Trucks were in town, sponsored by Irv’sWestside Auto and C&S Consulting, both out of Edmonton, were in town for their second trip around an oval this year. They raced at Edmonton International Raceway last weekend, before making their first of two stops in Saskatoon.

There may have only been six trucks, but they showed fans they still know how to put on one heck of a tight race where any of them could come out the winner. In the end it was the #76 of Kyle O’Connell from Lloydminster taking home the WGR checkered flag. Kyle bested the field in time trials by more that 2/10th of a second, but crashed out in the first heat. Problems continued to plague the #76 team through the second heat with the truck finishing last.

Things were looking good for the #76 team in the feature as O’Connell took the lead around lap 15 of the 40 lap feature. It came down to a green, white checker finish though and the #43 truck of Dan Saunders knocking on his door for O’Connell to get his truck to the line first and pick up the Saskatoon win.

Rider Recap Day Five + Green And White Day Details

The following is the Day 5 report from the 2016 Roughrider Training Camp presented by Coors Light.

ROSTER MOVES

Add:
International defensive back Victor Dean Jr. (6’4 – 210 – Portland State)

Did not participate:
Dylan Ainsworth (day-to-day)
Justin Capicciotti (day-to-day)
Marcus Davis (day-to-day)
Johnny Dixon (day-to-day)
Jeff Knox Jr. (day-to-day)
Eric Norwood (injured)
Jordan Reaves (day-to-day)
Matt Vonk (6 game injured list)
Xavier Walker (day-to-day)

OVERVIEW
The players hit the Griffiths Stadium turf for Day 5 of training camp for one two-hour session.

The practice was fast paced with a definite focus on game like situations. Time was spent red zone situations, last minute drives, and some intricacies within the CFL game.

PLAY OF THE DAY
Rookie returner Qudarius Ford brought the morning crowd alive with a long punt return touchdown that included impressive breakaway speed.

Rider Camp Recap Day 4

The following is the Day 4 report from the 2016 Roughrider Training Camp presented by Coors Light.

ROSTER MOVES

Activate:
National long snapper Jorgen Hus

Did not participate:
Justin Capicciotti (day-to-day)
John Chiles (day-to-day)
Jeff Knox Jr. (day-to-day)
Eric Norwood (injured)
Xavier Walker (day-to-day)

OVERVIEW
The Riders returned to the field for Day 4 of training camp and the intensity from the players continued.

The competition was fierce as players spent a large chunk of the first practice engaged in one-on-one blocking and tackling drills.

PLAY OF THE DAY
Second year receiver Nic Demski hauled in a deep pass from rookie quarterback Jacob Huesman before sprinting over 75 yards for a huge gain during the team period.

TOMORROW

Get Your Ticket Here: Riders Unveil Farewell Season Plans-Single Tickets On-Sale

Rider fans will have one last chance to experience historic Mosaic Stadium when single game tickets go on sale tomorrow, June 1st. With anticipation for the Farwell Season, a new coaching staff and an influx of talented new players, the Roughriders have announced an initial list of celebrations and game day themes.

The Farewell Season will pay tribute to countless memories and the rich history of Mosaic Stadium. Each home game fans will celebrate the great teams, players, special moments, traditions and everything else that made Mosaic Stadium magnificent! The season will be broken down into historic themes with each game and the preceding week focusing on a specific decade, such as the 60s, 70s, or 80s. The GoodLife pre-game Fan Fest will also come alive with music from those decades and alumni autographs.

The Farewell Season will launch with a special pre-game Kickoff Party in Regina City Plaza and Victoria Park on June 30th from noon to 4pm. Some season highlights will include a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Grey Cup Champions on July 16th, where the Riders will welcome back and honour members of that championship team. On August 13th, we’ll look back at the 80s, including the ’89 Grey Cup Champs, and on Sept 24th fans we’ll celebrate the 2000s including the ‘07 Grey Cup Champions.

Rider Fan Day on Sept 3rd will include the traditional team introduction and autograph session as well as a Legends Flag football game where some of your heroes will be taking the field at Mosaic one last time. The next day the heroes of today will take the field for the final Labour Day Classic at Mosaic Stadium.

A must see game will come on October 22nd as the Riders celebrate the 2013 Grey Cup Championship Game, which many would argue is Mosaic Stadium’s greatest moment.

“We have called this facility home for many decades. More than a generation of fans have grown up here, cheered Rider legends and witnessed some incredible moments. It’s been a gathering place for our province, where we have met new friends and played host to our nation.” Saskatchewan Roughriders President and CEO Craig Reynolds continues, “Over the course of this season, we will re-live some special moments and create new ones. We’ll bring back some of your favourite players and we’ll all enjoy the incredible energy of this historic facility one last time.”

Each week Rider Media will be counting down the great moments in Mosaic Stadium history, publishing stories, sharing historic images and broadcasting interviews with Rider greats. In-stadium, fans will be treated to video tributes and visits from some of your all-time favourite Rider Legends.