Horseshoe club bring in ‘ringer’

Reuben Villagracia
A Reuben With A View

Right on this page you’ll find a complete preview of sporting events at this weekend’s Fun in the Sun festivities.

Well, almost complete, that is.

You see, there’s one event I was saving to preview until now. With all due respect to the perennially-popular bathtub races or the Aquanauts’ revival of the mile swim, this coming Monday is all about horseshoe throwing for yours truly.

I’ve been practising hard with my coach, Gordie Calder, at the Pither’s Point pits. Okay, I spent one hour there this past Monday and almost got my release form down pat.

I’ve yet to register a “ringer” from 40 feet out—or even hit a peg yet. But I have five days to become a lean, mean, horseshoe-throwin’ machine.

Now for the record, I’m not a total greenhorn in this sport. In fact, I’m a former money winner on this circuit. I teamed with Wally Hill from International Falls in the doubles event and we cleaned house en route to a second-place finish at the annual Labour Day tourney here last year.

However, there are several disclaimers I should let you in on. First, Wally, even at the grand age of 82, is a multi-champion at the horseshoe nationals. Second, as a first-timer, they let me throw my shoes 10 feet closer to the peg.

And third—it’s painfully obvious Wally did the bulk of the scoring.

But he’s since moved to Austin, Mn. and so I’m left to fend for myself against some of the top throwers in the area in the singles’ division.

Calder—always a pillar of support—had these encouraging words for me.

“Wally’s moved. You’ve got a chance to win now,” he said, almost keeping a straight face. “Seriously, you’ll do okay as long as you stay consistent in your throws.”

Thanks, coach.

The event starts at 1 p.m. on Canada Day. We’re expecting close to 16 competitors but the more, the merrier.

Registration is $2 apiece, which will go towards prize money along with an additional $50 each from the local Legion and the FITS committee up for grabs. Labatt’s also has donated several prizes.

So stepping away from my unbiased reporter hat, come on out and toss a few with us—or watch the local hack hold a bunch of horseshoes with little luck.

Duncan Keith, a former player in the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association, was selected 54th overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of Saturday’s NHL entry draft.

The 18-year-old defenceman, son of Dave Keith, was born in Winnipeg but played minor hockey here, culminating with the ‘AA’ PeeWee Knights under Gib and Bill Tucker before moving to British Columbia.

Keith completed his first year at Michigan State this past season.

Local bowler Elaine Ossachuk is gearing up to bowl with the Northern Ontario ladies’ team at the nationals in Thunder Bay this weekend. She earned a berth by having the best pins-over-average total at a Master’s tournament there last month.

Racing at the Emo Speedway was washed out due to rain last Saturday. The evening was set to start with two feature races (streets and modifieds) that had been held off from the previous week.

They’ll try to open things with those two races again this Saturday.

Hot laps start at 7 p.m., with the first race at 7:30.