ADSHADE: P.A. pulls from small pool to find successful team

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When compared to their county rivals at North Nova and Northumberland Regional, athletic teams at Pictou County are usually up against it, if for no other reason than simple demographics, or numbers: with a relatively small studentry, Pictou Academy has a smaller pool of athletes to choose from. That usually matters, but not always though, at least not this year in the sport of field lacrosse.

The Pitbulls of P.A. will host the Nova Scotia High School Field Lacrosse championship game on Monday, and will play with either North Nova or Hants East, who were slated to play a semifinal on Friday afternoon.

Field lacrosse is only getting started in this region, so the athletes are learning the nuances of what looks like a really fun sport to play. Once the sport of lacrosse grows - there is already a local association that is developing younger players, demographics may again play a role. Maybe so, maybe no.

It's nice to see a new sport gain a foothold in Pictou County (I love hockey, but geez... does the season ever end anymore?), and a sport such as lacrosse is a good fit for athletes: it's a bit like hockey I suppose but those who know the sport well say it's more akin to basketball, and any sport that allows you to hack, slash and crosscheck opponents is sure to be popular around these parts, and almost anywhere. Let's be honest about this.

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Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, said in an interview this week - in response to the ongoing saga of L.A. Clipper's owner David Sterling and his race-fuelled comments - that we all have prejudices and bigotry within us. Cuban said that if he was walking down a sidewalk and saw a young black man with a hoodie walking his way, he might cross the street to avoid him. Conversely, he said if he saw a bald white guy all tattooed up walking toward him, he'd avoid that guy, too.

This either means Cuban walks in sketchy neighbourhoods, is a chicken, or it could mean what he said it means: that he has pre-conceived notions of some people based on race, age and gender, and so does everybody. He's probably right. If there is a person out there with absolutely no prejudices at all, race or otherwise - than that is the purest of souls and there is a special place in heaven for him or her.

Meanwhile, back here on planet Earth, Cuban's words have more than a ring of truth to them, and if they are a conversation starter - apparently they have been - that isn't a bad thing. I just hope the voices of political correction don't drown out the voices of reason and common sense.

People smarter than me have been trying to bridge divides between races for generations, with some success. I believe that frank, open dialogue works better than cold silence, or perhaps worse, false words espousing concepts of brotherhood and humanity, without backing it up with true action.

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Non-Sports Thought of the Week: Speaking of people smarter than me (or is it "smarter than I"?), I can't help but mention NRHS Grade 10 student James Lees, who won a silver medal at the recent Canada-Wide Science Fair in Windsor, Ont.

Lees is working on a nuclear fusion reactor, and according to the article in Thursday's edition of The News, he is developing "an idea for an electrostatic Tungsten grid coupled with an electromagnetic field to compress plasma beyond critical density for fusion to take place".

I don't know what any of that means, but it sounds impressive. The only thing I've even "invented" would be the idea of an automatic playing card shuffler, because shuffling cards is a royal pain. An automatic playing card shuffler has most likely been invented already, so the entire process has probably been a waste of my time. I only play cards for money, by the way, usually cribbage, and I usually win because this buddy of mine keeps challenging me, and most of the time, he has to hand over a $10 bill or a $5, because he has a couple bad habits at crib, which are for me to know and him to find out.

I couldn't come up with one of those Tungsten grid things (I'll have to Google it), but I do know how to bait a guy into playing the wrong card.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, you see. 

Organizations: Pictou Academy, Nova Scotia High School Field Lacrosse, NBA Dallas Mavericks Canada-Wide Science Fair Google

Geographic location: North Nova, Pictou County, Hants East Windsor

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