Sports

Minesing Central School

It has been a busy, fun-filled and educational fall here at Minesing Central School. Sports teams, school clubs and fundraisers are in full swing! We have had a pumpkin carving contest, cross country, a coat, mitten and scarf drive, a county win at co-ed flag football, intramurals, collected shoes for Dekpor, volleyball and robotics club, just to name a few.

Last month our entire school enjoyed participating in an activity with Smarties highlighting diversity and equity. Through this activity, we learned that despite our differences, on the inside we are all the same. This month the school focus is to show support for Treaties Recognition Week with our Reconcili-Actions activity. We created individual feathers with a written promise to change our actions in a positive way. Phrases like, “I promise to be inclusive,” and “I promise to treat others the way I want to be treated,” could be found on the walls of the school.

We had our Remembrance Day assembly on November 11th. This year students recited poems and sang songs in gratitude and remembrance for those men and women who sacrificed and fought for our freedom. We will be forever thankful. 

Minesing Central is also going SILENT on November 20th. Some students will be taking a vow of silence in support of individuals and children in other countries who voices are not heard. We are hoping to raise enough money to allow many children to attend school.

Our Merry Mustangs event will take place on December 4th at the school. More information will be coming about this as we get closer to our event.  We are looking forward to the hot chocolate, but most importantly, our community coming together.

Max L. Connor L. and Cam B. Minesing Students

 

Sports with Patrick Townes

Following the Toronto Maple Leaf’s exit from the 2018-2019 playoffs, in a previous edition of this newspaper this past May, I predicted that four things would happen.  One prediction was fairly obvious -- noting that the team did not have enough payroll space to re-sign Jake Gardiner, who was eventually signed late in the free agent period by the Carolina Hurricanes.  The second prediction was that Nazem Kadri would be traded.  Kadri was traded to the Colorado Avalanche for one of the most talented offensive defenseman in the league, Tyson Barrie.  The third prediction has yet to transpire, being a trade involving William Nylander whose contract just does not reasonably fit in the scheme of things for the team.  The last and final prediction -- that Mike Babcock would not return as coach of the Maple Leafs.  A little later than expected, but it happened.    

 Babcock, the highest paid coach in the league was relieved of his duties this week with two plus years remaining on his contract.  During his tenure, the Leafs never made it beyond the first round of the playoffs; however, they did complete the scheduled rebuild and had 100-point seasons along the way.  In Babcock’s previous coaching roles in the league, he was at the helm of veteran teams, the Detroit Red Wings and the Anaheim Ducks.  And yes, he coached Team Canada to a gold medal, but it would be fair to say that any coach in that situation would have the leg-up for a successful tournament with the talent-loaded team.  The Leafs, however, were a younger team looking for a leader to guide, adapt and grow.  One would surely conclude that the younger generation of players is much different than retired/older players in the league.  In short, Babcock’s attitude and stubbornness was outdated and even infuriating – and the players grew to hate it. 

 Players should never give up or stop trying on a coach, or anyone for that matter.  Your job is to go out there and give maximum effort every shift.  This did not happen.  All the talk about the players giving up on Babcock has filled the media realm, but perhaps the conversation should revolve around Babcock’s actions.

 The entire back-up goaltending issue in Toronto was made a larger issue than it ever should be.  But it was Babcock’s schedule to always play Freddy Anderson in the first game of a back-to-back game situation -- no matter what team they were playing.  John Tavares returned to a heated atmosphere in New York in the second game of a back-to-back situation where the Maple Leafs were destroyed and embarrassed.  Why not change the formula and play your number one goalie in tougher, or, better yet, important games for players returning home or to former cities where they have played but left to join Toronto.  Strike One!

 Babcock refused to change, even when things were not working.  It is impossible to predict, but if Babcock awarded more ice time to his “star” players in their most recent playoff exit, the Maple Leafs could have been victorious over the Boston Bruins (who advanced to the Stanley Cup finals).  Instead of increasing the role of these players, Patrick Marleau continued to jump over the boards during important shifts and points in games, with absolutely no results.  Strike Two! 

The Maple Leafs signed veteran Jason Spezza over the offseason.  No doubt looking forward to the opening night of the season, Spezza, who very well could be playing in the last season of his career, was left off the opening night roster in favour of who ……..? – Exactly!  Spezza also did not make the line-up for his return to Ottawa.  As a player, this is a true embarrassment.  There is no other way to sum up this situation.  Strike Three! 

Even before Babcock struck out, he managed to foul a few off, as they say.  The aforementioned Tyson Barrie was one of the most productive point-producing defenseman in the league; however, the team decided to go with four forwards on the first power play unit.  Barrie struggled to get points and ice time on the second power play unit.  One would think a change would be in order, but this never happened. 

The final out was made when the Maple Leafs left their rookie goaltender in his first-ever game out to dry.  

 For those questioning the effort of the team and the players’ perceived attempts to get Babcock fired, they may be overlooking the fact that maybe it was Babcock himself who wanted to get fired.  Hard to believe, but somewhat easy to consider.  In one of his last interviews before being fired, he noted he was in a “good place”.  He was not referring to the Maple Leafs. 

 Welcome to the team, Sheldon Keefe. Keefe played for the Barre Colts and has overcome some major obstacles in his life.  In his first game as the coach of the Maple Leafs, Barrie was moved to the first powerplay.  Whether this adjustment and the future adjustments work for the team -- at least there is opportunity for guidance, adaption and growth.  And finally, Kyle Dubas is in charge.