Longtime golfer, Mitch Cassell made it a hat trick on Monday when he dropped a hole in one on the par three, 118 yard, 14th hole at the Morrisburg Golf Course. Playing with buddies Gary Breyer, John Vincent and Ray Baker, Cassell recorded his third ace using an eight iron. “I saw it going towards the hole (back centre of the green), but I turned to my golf bag. The guys saw it go in.” Cassell had his other aces on the fifth and second holes. “The old guy can still do the trick,” he said with a grin when asked if that meant he had won all of the day’s money.
Word has come down from the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League that the Morrisburg Junior (B) Lions are not being included in the re-configuration that will see the current 22 team league chopped to 16 teams.
So ends, close to 50 years of Junior B Lions history in Morrisburg, that began with the purchase of the franchise by John Rice, who, with Hosea Droppo and Blake Cruickshank, revamped junior hockey in the village.
The announcement that the Lions have been cut from the proposed EOJHL league was made by Lions president/general manager Kevin Casselman, Monday night, April 13.
“We must say that following 10 months of rumours, we were not really surprised with the decision,” said Casselman on behalf of owners, Rick Gilmer, Dale Lewis and Gary Brownlee. “Although difficult to accept at first, the decision might very well be for the best!”
“The landscape of junior hockey is changing, and within their vision [EOJHL] for the new league, comes a rapid incline in operational expenses,” says Casselman. “With the continuing decline in the number of players choosing to play, it will only compound into an expensive business venture to operate a junior hockey team within the reconfiguration of the league.”
“We wish to make everyone aware, and we are pleased to inform our loyal supporters, players, and parents, that we have applied for membership to the executive committee of the National Capital Junior Hockey League (NCJHL). Our objective is to continue providing junior hockey here in Morrisburg, and by all accounts, we are hoping that everything will be approved in the near future.”
The Lions organization is encouraging everyone to “remove the negative perceptions, and stereotypes that we are being demoted. As mentioned, the landscape of junior hockey is changing.”
Casselman points out that the NCJHL is a very good and solid league, and is only going to continue to improve.
“Reflecting back on the decades and heritage of the Morrisburg Lions organization, it took courage, faith, endurance, determination, and pride to surmount all obstacles that built this organization, and with those same characters we will once again be successful.”
Casselman says he is confident the Lions’ fan base will be energized with new teams coming in. Players will see a reduction in travel, and most importantly, “we should be in a good position to offer local kids more opportunities to play junior hockey in their home town.”
The move for us to NCJHL will maintain our organization’s strategic plan for our Vision .. Goals .. Objectives.
“We are proud of our community, proud of our organization past and present, and are looking positively towards a continuation of providing junior hockey in our community.”
Should the Lions be accepted, the teams listed with the NCJHL last season were the Cumberland Bandits, Embrun Panthers, Olympiques Jr. de Gatineau, Predateurs de La Peche, North Dundas Rockets, Papineauville Vikings, Rockland Nationals, St. Isidore Eagles and VanKleek Hill Cougars.
CORNWALL & DISTRICT–Plans for local 55 plus winter games are under way, as the district prepares to send a team to the Ontario 55 plus Winter Games in Huntsville, February 26-28.
The local games will kick off with prediction skating, scheduled for Monday, November 12 and Friday, November 16 at the Benson Centre in Cornwall. Convener is Robert Peladeau (613-931-1641).
Glengarry Curling Club in Maxville will host a qualifying mixed bonspiel. The Stuart McKay rink from that club is the Ontario 55 plus Winter Games champions from 2011 in Haliburton.
Dates are being finalized and information will be sent soon to local curling clubs.
Other qualifying events which will take place in the next couple of months are duplicate bridge and hockey, which has two age divisions (55 – 64 and 65+).
Alpine skiing and nordic skiing held their qualifying events in February 2012. District 8’s Nordic Ski team won the Ontario team award in 2011 so will be defending that title in Huntsville.
Any 55 plus seniors wanting more information may contact the District Winter Games coordinators: Stanley Fraser (613-525-3777) or Monique Patenaude (613-543-3453).
Two Morrisburg club skaters will be lacing up their skates for the Skate Ontario Championship coming up in Brampton, March 13-15.
Senior Bronze skater Alexis Engwerda and Juvenile (under 14) skater Trina Dykstra-MacPherson, put together strong performances at the Eastern Ontario StarSkate Invitational Championships (EOSIC) held at the Nepean Sportsplex, February 13-15, to land their qualifying spots. Engwerda skated to a podium silver medal finish in her division while Dyskstra-MacPherson placed fourth.
“Alexis had a great skate to her spirited Celtic music from the ‘Lord of the Dance” that won her a bronze medal in her flight, and qualified her for the final,” says her coach Allison Scott.
“Not everything was clean, but I tried everything and I was happy about that,” says Engwerda whose program is ambitious and energetic and consists of three spins (camel-sit-change, sit combination, deathdrop and sit-change-sit) and six jump elements, five of them double jumps, including two double-double combinations, and a spiral sequence. “I had a personal best with 23.53 points, and that beat my previous best by two points.”
“Alexis skated with great flow and finesse attacking each element with a smile,” said Scott. “She had a fabulous combination spin, an effortless double flip jump, and she achieved a personal best score and a spot in the final.”
“However, her performance in the final was even better than her first skate! She rose to the occasion, skated aggressively but assertively into each element, had solid and complete rotations in both her double-double jump combinations and beautiful spins including a quality death-drop spin which all resulted in her surpassing her previous score and achieving another personal best!”
“Her silver medal win and a chance to skate at the All-Ontario Championships in Brampton, is an honour which is so incredibly exciting!”
“Alexis has improved tremendously this season. Her her hard work, determination and dedication has paid off, and I am extremely proud of her outstanding accomplishment for this event.”
“I am just so happy for her and look forward to our experience together at the All-Ontario!
Trina had a nearly flawless personal best performance at EOSIC in the Juvenile under 14 category to earn her a qualifying position for the Skate Ontario Championships in March.
“It was one of my better skates,” says Trina. “I did a personal best 28.79 from my previous 22.02. That was a really big jump, and I was really happy.”
“Trina completed a jam-packed 2.5 minute program including an axel and eight doubles (2 double-double combinations, an axel-double loop with three other doubles by themselves),” says coach Louise Dimmick. “She also performed three excellent spins, two change-foot combination spins (one with a flying entry), a flying camel spin and a beautiful spiral sequence that really highlighted her flexibility.”
“Trina’s speed and artistry have really improved over the last six months, and you could see Trina’s love of skating come out in her performance.”
“This success is the result of years of hard work and it’s been so nice to be a part of this journey with her.”