NEW GLASGOW – While 2019 is not quite upon us, the following are some of the highlights that was Pictou County sports in 2018.
Jan. 13: The NRHS Nighthawks boys’ basketball tournament won the January Thaw Tournament in Springhill. It was the second straight week the Nighthawks won a tournament.
Jan. 21: The eighth annual Jean Proudfoot Memorial Broomball Challenge took place at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. The event is a fundraiser for the North End Recreation Centre and the West Side Community Centre. More than $100,000 has been raised throughout the years.
Feb. 4: The Devin Forbes curling team won a silver medal at the provincial wheelchair championships in New Glasgow.
Feb. 20: It became official when it was announced that New Glasgow’s Lucia MacKay would join the StFX X-Women‘s basketball program in the fall.
Feb. 22: Blayre Turnbull and her Team Canada mates lost in the gold medal game to the U.S. at the Winter Olympics in South Korea. The Americans won the game, 3-2 in a shootout.
Feb. 26: A total of 14 skaters with the Mariposa East figure skating program captured medals at provincials, which took place in Pictou County.
March 2: The Pictou County Scotians saw their reign as Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League champions come to an end, losing their first-round playoff series against the Antigonish Bulldogs.
March 10: The Junior A Crushers finished their Maritime Hockey League season with a win against the Amherst Ramblers. The Crushers failed to make the playoffs for the first time in their 14-year history.
March 11: Pictou County Athletics repeat as Atlantic Indoor club champions.
March 14: Albion Boxing Club head coach Al Archibald learns he would be Boxing Nova Scotia’s Coach of the Year.
March 25: The Fundy Highland Bantam AA Selects won a silver medal at provincials.
March 25: The Subway Selects Peewee AA s finished second at provincials, held at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
March 25: The New Glasgow Bombers Peewee C hockey team won the Pictou County Minor Hockey Association title.
March 30: Albion Boxing Club fighter Matt Fraser won a gold medal in the 49K weight class at the Canadian boxing championships. Later in 2018, he would be named to the provincial team that will compete at the 2019 Canada Games.
April 1: The Northern Subway Selects female midget hockey team won its first-ever Atlantic championship, rolling over all challengers in St. John’s, N.L. Later in April, the Selects would finish up the national championship with a 1-3-1 record.
April 6: New Glasgow native Chase Bowden had his #15 jersey retired at Holland College, where he had played five seasons with the Hurricanes basketball program.
April 12: Hundreds gathered outside the Pictou County Wellness Centre for a candle light vigil. The event took place after the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus tragedy, which ultimately claimed the lives of 16 people.
April 12: Students at Walter Duggan Consolidated School in Westville held a fundraising “Jersey Day” which raised well over $800 for Broncos families.
April 15: The Pictou County Lightning juvenile boys basketball won provincials in Halifax.
April 21: At a well-attended boxing card at the Pictou County Wellness Centre, Brody Blair won a unanimous decision over Juan Raygosa.
May 5: The Albion Boxing Club held a 30th anniversary card at Summer Street Industries in New Glasgow.
May 20: Scotsburn distance runner Dave MacLennan wins his fifth Bluenose Marathon.
May 24: The girls’ rugby team at NRHS had won the regional banner with an 88-0 win over the CEC Cougars.
May 27: The Nova Storm won the AHG Atlantic Cup tournament in Moncton, N.B., going undefeated.
June 1-2: Pictou County athletes won 13 gold medals at the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation’s track and field provincials. Siblings Kara and Ethan MacDonald both won two gold medals in running events, as did Keighan DeCoff (shot put, discus) and Emily Horton (800m Para girls, shot put)
June 2: The NRHS Nighthawks boys rugby team claimed the school’s first ever boys provincial championship with a 27-12 win over the C.P. Allen Cheetahs.
June 5: Leigha MacDonald and Peyton Briand were co-winners of the Female Athlete of the Year award at Pictou Academy. The Male Athlete of the Year was Ethan MacCallum.
June 6: Raymond Simpson was named Male Athlete of the Year at North Nova Education Centre, while Camryn Halliday and Lucia MacKay were co-Female Athletes of the Year.
June 7: Mike MacGillivray was named Male Athlete of the Year at Northumberland Regional High School, and Emilee Feltmate was Female Athlete of the Year.
June 10: Local golfers Adam Sheparski and Kevin Scott won the provincial men’s four-ball championship at Abercrombie Golf & Country Club.
June 10: A ball hockey tournament at the West Side Community raised more than $5,000 for an accessible playground, which would open later in the year.
June 17: Dave MacLennan wins the Johnny Miles Marathon in New Glasgow. It was his 12th win at the event.
June 18: The Town of New Glasgow announces that John Brother MacDonald Stadium will be demolished. Formally known as New Glasgow Stadium, the rink opened early 70 years ago.
June 22: The Summer Street Scramble, a golf tournament that raises funds every year for Summer Street Industries, surpassed the $3-million mark in the event’s 24-year history.
June 23: Jacob Bernard-Docker, whose parents grew up on Pictou Island, was drafted in the first round by the Ottawa Senators.
June 24: The Pictou County Subway Snipers won their second consecutive Maritime peewee lacrosse championship in Truro.
July 13: Long-time Pictou County softball umpire Jim MacNeil was honoured by his fellow umpires during a tournament in Stellarton. MacNeil was an umpire in Pictou County for more than 60 years.
July 14: Pictou County Athletics won its fifth straight provincial club championship, which were held at the Pioneer Coal track in Stellarton.
July 20: Vegas Knights coach Gerard Gallant was the marquee guest at the annual Scott Weeks Celebrity Golf Tournament.
July 22: Ryan MacDonald of Greenhill broke the Olympic sprint distance record at the Melmerby Triathlon in a time of 2.02:54. The top local woman was Christa Noftall of Abercrombie.
July 1-Aug. 4: Four Special Olympics athletes from Pictou County took part in the National Games, which were held in Antigonish. Evan Sharpe (silver in the 200m freestyle swim), Lucy Rogers (bronze in the 100M race, silver in both the 400M race and shot put), Stacey Saunders (gold in 100M, gold in 4X100M relay and silver in shot put), and Kara Scott (silver and bronze in rhythmic gymnastics events) all returned home with medals.
Aug. 11: Cassius Clark, driving for Pictou-based King Racing, took the checkered flag at the Cat 250 at Scotia Speedworld.
Aug. 19: Cory Hall and Austin MacDonald finished in first and second place respectively at a Legends race car event at Riverside International Speedway.
Aug. 19: The Pictou County Padres win the U18 baseball provincial title.
Aug. 26: Stellarton natives Blayre Turnbull and Babe Mason were honoured at the newly-named Olympic Park in Stellarton, which used to be known as Valley Woods park. Turnbull won silver at the Winter Games in February in women’s hockey, while Mason boxed at the 1956 Games in Australia.
Aug. 29: Leo Fahey, a long-time athlete and builder of sports in Pictou County, dies at age 93.
Sept. 9: The Stellarton Albions win the U11 Nova Scotia baseball championship.
Sept. 13: The Junior A Crushers win their Maritime Hockey League season-opener, defeating the Valley Wildcats 2-1 in overtime. They wouldn’t win again until Oct. 26, a stretch of 13 games without a victory.
Sept. 16: The New Glasgow DQ Peewee Blizzards won the Atlantic baseball championship in Fredericton, N.B. defeating the host team 7-3 in the title game.
Sept. 28-30: Pictou County Scotians defenceman Logan Vande Meerakker notches 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in a pair of Scotians’ wins.
Sept. 29: The Kickin’ Vixens roller derby team finished its season with two wins in P.E.I.
Oct. 14: Ian Keating scores four goals and adds two assists as the Pictou County Scotians beat the Cumberland County Blues 9-3 in a Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League game.
Oct. 22: Eagle’s Chance Par-3 Golf Course and Driving Range owner Brian Affleck announces the 25-year-old facility is in danger of closing. The course is expected to be open in 2019 under new ownership.
Oct. 26: The Junior A Crushers snap a 13-game losing skidwith a 5-4 win over the South Shore Lumberjacks.
Oct. 28: The Northern Peewee AASelects, Subway Selects Midget AAAs and the Midget AAs win gold at the Subway Cup female hockey tournament, held at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. The Bantam AA Selects won a silver medal.
Nov. 3: Westville Boxing Club coach Aaron Kinch competes in a wheelchair boxing exhibition match in Cape Breton.
Nov. 26: At a media conference, Jenna Reid of Pictou formally announces that she has landed a track and field scholarship to Wofford College, in South Carolina.
Dec. 1: Mariposa East figure skaters Cameron Boulter, Jailyn Elliott and Brooke Pennington all qualify for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. It will be held in Red Deer, Alta. from Feb. 15 until March 3.
Dec. 15: The Junior A Crushers win their fifth game in a row to end the 2018 portion of their schedule. The Crushers had to rally from a 5-2 deficit to beat the South Shore Lumberjacks 6-5.
QUOTE OF THE YEAR:
“We’re not religious people, but yeah I’m still mad at God. Why would he take such a good kid? But I always tell Debbie, at least he made it to 19.” – Kent Mason, reflecting on the first anniversary of the death of son Kale, a former Pictou County Scotians’ player who died on May 19, 2017.