Sports with Patrick Townes

If you take a walk around town, you will continue to notice that many of the houses have basketball nets set up in the front yards, and there are various basketballs scattered on the lawns.  The recent success of the Toronto Raptors has sprung towns all around into a basketball frenzy.  Kawhi Leonard was the center piece of the team’s recent success, and managed to put the Raptors over the top during the recent post-season push and championship.   

One thing you have to appreciate about Kawhi Leonard’s free agency period is that he kept everything under wraps.  He is not involved in social media, he doesn’t participate in any unnecessary banter between teams, players and fans – he is a true professional and a smart athlete and businessman.  He evaluated every aspect of free agency, including speaking with other players who he would like to team up with in the future.  At the end of the day, he returned to his home in Los Angeles and teamed up with a friend and a player he wants to spend the next four years with.   

As Toronto Raptors fans, we are all aware of the “Carter Effect” and what Vince Carter did for the sport of basketball in Canada.  Kawhi Leonard, on the other hand, leaves the “Leonard Legacy” and he will be remembered forever.  After winning the NBA Championship, it almost seemed like fans are expecting a repeat. Brian Burke always said on the radio about NHL Championships and how if you are lucky enough to win one championship, congratulations, you won’t win another one for 30 years.  This is based on the number of teams in the league and using rudimentary stats.   

Disappointment hit Raptors fans when the news came down of the Clippers deal to trade for Paul George and therefore sign Kawhi Leonard.  This scenario was likely 90 percent guaranteed when Leonard was traded to Toronto.  The only chance he had of resigning in Toronto was if they won a championship, and that still was not enough for him.  The disappointment of many quickly turned to thanks and gratitude for what he did for Toronto.  He was traded for from a team no longer willing to have him and a location where he no longer wanted to be.  Oftentimes athletes are hesitant to come to Toronto, being within a new Country and, of course, the colder weather.  There is no reason to dwell on Kawhi Leonard leaving Toronto for what he has left behind; a lot of teams never get the chance to do.  As mentioned in a previous article, he can serve as a role model for young athletes.  Just play the game, do your job, and have a common goal - and stay off social media.  We will miss you.


The Barrie Baycats played six games over the last two weeks losing four times, including the Guelph Royals winning a home and home series against the Baycats. The four losses dropped Barrie out of first place in the InterCounty Baseball League for several days for the first time this season.

Against Guelph on the road, Royal’s pitcher Yomar Concepcion struck out 14 in a complete game one-hitter against Barrie. Kevin Atkinson had the only hit coming in the 9th inning. The game was 1-0 after 7.5 innings but Guelph exploded for eight runs in the 8th.  Barrie committed three errors in the game.

Santos Arias (4-1) took the loss giving up only one run and 4 hits in 6 innings while striking out six.

Barrie bounced back in Toronto the next night whipping the Maple Leafs 19-2. Jordan Castaldo and Kevin Atkinson each went 5 for 7 with a home run. The duo drove in nine runs and scored four times.

Ryan Spataro had two hits, four runs and an RBI, Starlin Rodriguez singled twice and scored three times, Jon Waltenbury drove in two, Parker Walker drove in a run and scored twice, while Steve Lewis and Connor Morro each had two hits, two runs and an RBI.

Emilis Guerrero (4-0) went 8 innings allowing 5 hits and striking out five. Toronto made seven errors in the game.

Back in Barrie the next night, Guelph completed the home and home series with a 6-4 win. Barrie led 4-0 after four innings but never scored again in the game.

Ryan Spataro went a perfect 4-4 at the plate with 2 RBI and scored a run.

Adrian Salcedo took the loss going seven innings allowing five runs on six hits and striking out eight.

Barrie’s next game was on the road in London on Canada Day and the Majors provided all the fireworks defeating the Baycats 15-3. London led 14-2 after 4 innings on the way to a 21-hit victory.

The only bright spots for the Baycats were Starlin Rodriguez going 4 for 5 with a run scored and Connor Morro hitting a solo home run. Jordan Castaldo also had two hits.

Santos Arias (4-2) took his second consecutive loss giving up nine runs on 12 hits over only three innings. He had five strikeouts.

Barrie then hosted Kitchener in the first of a home and home series and the Panthers took over first place with an 11-5 win. The loss was the third in a row for the Baycats and Barrie was now in second place.

Barrie led 2-0 after 2 innings but was down 9-2 before scoring again. For Barrie, Conner Morro led the offense with 3 hits, 1 RBI and a home run. Morro scored three times and was a triple short of the cycle. Starlin Rodriguez also had two hits and a RBI.

Two Barrie errors in the 4th inning led to 3 unearned runs opening the door to the Kitchener victory.

Emilis Guerrero (4-1) took the loss, pitching six innings and giving up 9 hits, 5 runs while striking out six.

After their game last Saturday was rained out against Welland, Barrie travelled to Kitchener Sunday trying to regain a piece of first place. Barrie scored three times in the third inning thanks to a 3-run homer by Jordan Castaldo but the game was tied 3-3 after four.

In the sixth, Conner Morro tripled, was single home by Branfy Infante and then Infante advanced to 3rd on a two base error. Then Ryan Spataro singled home Infante to give Barrie a 5-3 win. The two teams now are tied for first place with a 16-6 record.

Starlin Rodriguez and Steve Lewis each had two hits in the game.

Adrian Salcedo went the distance scattering 6 hits and striking out eight.

Next home games for Barrie are

Toronto on Friday, July 12th at 7:30 pm (Re-scheduled game),

London on Sunday, July 14th at 7:00 pm,

Brantford on Tuesday, July 16th at 7:30 pm (Re-scheduled game),

Toronto on Thursday, July 18th at 7:30 pm,

Brantford on Saturday, July 20th at 7:00 pm and

Hamilton on Thursday, July 25th at 7:30 pm.

Extra Innings: Kevin Atkinson was the InterCounty Baseball League player of the month for June. He hit .492, 7 home runs, 27 RBI and scored 17 runs. Jordan Castaldo won the award in May…The regular season is quickly coming to an end so make sure you use up your remaining tickets.


Community rallies in support of Oro-Medonte Kid’s Run

Almost 200 people braved rainy weather to lace up for the second Oro-Medonte Kid’s Run on May 4 at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds. The event raised an incredible $11,392 in support of RVH’s Simcoe Muskoka Regional Child and Youth Mental Health Program.
Twins Mikayla and Madison McDermott founded the Oro-Medonte Kids Run last year as part of a school change-maker project which highlighted the importance of supporting mental health for children and youth.

“It was another incredibly successful year for the Oro-Medonte Kids Run,” said Neil McDermott, Race Director and Madison and Mikayla’s father. “It’s with the support of the community that we are able to continue raising funds and awareness for child and youth mental health and to help bring support to those in our community. We’d like to thank all our runners and sponsors for helping us surpass our fundraising goal.”

Since January of 2018, the regional child and youth mental health program has provided care to more than 1,500 individual children and youth from across Simcoe Muskoka through the eight-bed inpatient unit, outpatient program or Day Program.

Heather Cochrane, RVH Manager of Adult Crisis Services and the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Child and Youth Mental Health Program, said she was honoured to participate in the race along with her eight-year–old daughter, Nora.

“Mikayla and Madison have not only raised funds, they’ve raised awareness and continued the conversation around youth mental health amongst children, families and the community. RVH is extremely grateful for their efforts,” says Cochrane.

Picture - Oro-Medonte Kids Run founders, Madison and Mikayla McDermot, are joined by their parents, Neil and Jennifer and brother, Ben to announce the final fundraising total raised from the 2019 Oro-Medonte Kids Run in support of the RVH Simcoe Muskoka Regional Child and Youth Mental Health Program.


Canadian Championship Pickleball Tournament

The Midhurst Pickleball Club plays out of the Doran Park Pavilion.  With sixty members, the club is at full capacity and has established a waiting list for future members.

The Springwater Township Parks and Recreation Department, has been very helpful in painting pickleball courts, onto various concrete pads, throughout the Township.  The first dedicated outdoor pickleball facility, consisting of four courts, with permanent nets, is planned to be completed this fall, next to the Elmvale Hockey Arena.

Eastview Arena in Barrie, has courts available Monday to Friday, until the end of August.

Our small club (51 members) did outstanding at the national Pickleball Championships in Kingston.

Kim Porter won Gold in both Doubles and the Open Age Singles.

Mary Flynn won Gold in the her age group of Doubles.

Mary Loftus won Gold in her Doubles Class.

Brad Harris won Gold in the 35+ class.

Doug Loftus won Silver in the Mixed Doubles over 55.

He also won Gold in the Men’s Double 60+ along with his partner Bill Vansickle.


Jurassic Park (Nick Kramer)

It’s been exactly two weeks since the conclusion of the NBA finals, and all I can say is wow, what a ride!  Two months of NBA playoffs were nothing short of action-packed gut-wrenching drama that made my heart stop on multiple occasions, and I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything in the world. 

A lot of us in Raptors nation waited 25 years for this moment to come, and some of us maybe even thought it never would.  The reality for most Raps fans was that tickets to watch our boys live were unattainable due to the egregious price it cost to see them bring home our first NBA title. But that’s fine because there was an alternative way to watch the games that still delivered a grade A viewing experience. 

In all my years of attending sporting events, Jurassic Park was something I’ve never been apart of. A thousand plus people waiting hours in line just to watch the game on a screen, coming together to create an atmosphere so electric you would think that you are actually at the game. Strangers to one another, people come from across the country congregate together in and around this small area to root on Canada’s team. 

Inside Maple Leafs Square where the main Jurassic Park was (there were another three sectioned off areas down Bremner Boulevard), there was no shortage of entertainment, food and retail options to keep fans busy during commercial breaks and intermissions. The main stage was where the action was, with live performances that included signing and dancing, an MC to pump up the crowd, as well as contests and t-shirt tosses.  There were a variety of food and drink vendors, where one could enjoy anything from a hot dog and water to a cold beer or cider.

Whether you’re a die-hard Raptors fan or somebody who just genuinely enjoys being part of an electric atmosphere, Jurassic Park is the place for you.  There is no better example of this then the 50 or so Jurassic Parks that opened up from coast to coast during the finals.  So next year when our beloved Raptors are making another run for the Larry O’Brien Trophy, I encourage you all to experience a different way to watch the game.  Jurassic Park is officially Atmosphere approved!


Do you think you are “too old” or “too stiff” to do yoga?

Would you like to discover a practice where you can build a stronger body, improve your flexibility, learn to meditate effectively, become less reactive and generally feel happier and more empowered?

Would you like to get a better night’s sleep?

Would you like to build better relationships, communicate more effectively, feel more connected to life and to those around you?

Do you feel like there is “something” missing in your life but you don’t know what that “something” is?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, then please join us in a journey of self discovery and learn simple yet powerful tools through the practice of Kundalini Yoga to help you create a life with more joy, purpose and love.

Kundalini yoga is also known as the yoga of awareness.  It is specifically designed for the householder, meaning busy people like you and me who have jobs, personal obligations, family commitments, very little time and who may also be "too busy", “too old” or “too stiff” to do yoga.

Check out my website for more information about me and this little known yoga: and come join us for a community meditation every Wednesday evening in the Balm Beach area from 6 – 8 pm.  We start on Wednesday, July 10.  $10 for each class.  Monies collected go to a charity of the group’s choice at the end of the summer.  This summer's community meditation theme is Healing Ancestral Karma.



Drop the Ball Raffle raises funds for critical care needs at GBGH!

This summer, residents of North Simcoe have a unique opportunity to support their local Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH)…and win some incredible prizes!

 On August 4, 2019, Midland Golf & Country Club will host our region’s first ever Helicopter Golf Ball Drop Raffle, organized by a group of volunteers who wanted to do something impactful for healthcare in our community.  

 “We know residents of North Simcoe have an important role to play in how patient care is delivered at GBGH”, says Gerard La Chapelle, chair of the Drop the Ball organizing committee. “With this raffle, we are raising funds for equipment and staff education, and bringing awareness to the needs of our community hospital.”

 GBGH relies on the community - residents, businesses and municipalities - to fund 100% of the equipment required for patient care.  This year, the hospital needs donations to replace one of the aging ultrasound machines, buy 100 IV infusion pumps, purchase 10 telemetry packs for the ICU and upgrade the portable ultrasound used in the Emergency department.  

 “We are committed to providing exceptional care, for every person, every time at GBGH, but we cannot accomplish our vision without modern medical equipment and technology,” says Gail Hunt, president and CEO at GBGH.  “Community support through events like the Drop the Ball raffle are so important in providing the funds we rely on to improve the hospital experience for thousands of patients each year.”

 The goal for the Drop the Ball Raffle is to sell 16,000 golf balls and drop them from a helicopter hovering at 100 feet above the Midland Golf & Country Club’s first fairway.  There will be nine flags and cups within the drop area, each representing one of the prizes. Each golf ball will be marked with a ticket number, and the ball which lands in the hole or is closest to the pin wins.  If multiple balls land in a hole, one ball will be drawn for the prize.  

Prizes for the raffle include:  - SEA-DOO and trailer (Early bird prize – drawn July 4, 2019) - 2019 Ford Mustang Convertible - $1,000 Boathouse Eatery Gift Certificate - Weber BBQ - 75” Samsung Smart TV - Highfield Inflatable & Yamaha Motor

- Dewalt 12” Mitre Saw - Trip to Mexico - Weekend for 2 in Niagara on the Lake

 Tickets are $20 each or three for $50, and can be purchased at Bourgeois Motors, Factory Recreation, Scotiabank Penetanguishene, Elmvale Home Building Centre and  Georgian Bay General Hospital.  Tickets will also be on sale during the Buttertart Festival and Canada Day celebrations in Tay, Midland and Penetanguishene.  Call 705-526-GIVE (4483) for more information.         

Drop the Ball Raffle volunteers visited Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) to sell tickets for the fundraiser, supporting new and much-needed equipment purchases at the hospital. Accompanied by one of the prizes – a 2019 Ford Mustang Convertible – the volunteers sold tickets on the front lawn of GBGH. The ball drop takes place August 4 at Midland Golf & Country Club. Tickets are $20 each or three for $50 and are available at Bourgeois Motors, Factory Recreation, Scotiabank Penetanguishene, Elmvale Home Building Centre and GBGH.  From left – Gail Hunt, president and CEO, GBGH; Mike La Chapelle, Drop the Ball volunteer; Chris Hoy, staff member, GBGH; and Gerard La Chapelle, chair, Drop the Ball committee.