A much-needed boost

If the plan to start up a booster club for the Borderland Thunder comes to fruition, I promise to accept no credit.
My story and column last week on the team’s financial troubles certainly raised eyebrows and, in some case, tempers. But, rest assured, I won’t even begin to consider that my bringing the issue to the public eye led to the inspiration of the booster club.
That idea would see me elevate patting one’s own back to new heights.
The plan of Eugene McPherson and his group of concerned Thunder supporters to offer some additional avenues of revenue generation, while also increasing community spirit for the team, is a well-intentioned stroke of logic.
The booster club would be beneficial in helping project the message of public backing the Thunder are trying to get out to the district. More than that, it presents the public with a fresh group of messengers.
Such concepts as charity exhibition games, skills competitions, and Player-of-the-Week designations are simple, yet brilliant ways to inject some enthusiasm into a Thunder fan base that has declined in terms of attendance at Borderland games since its first year.
The Couchiching band council still hadn’t officially got on board with the idea as of yesterday’s press deadline, but it seems as though McPherson and Co. are making an offer that would be hard to refuse.
With the promise of no interference with the team’s day-to-day operations, Thunder management can continue to run the squad as it sees fit. Meanwhile, it can reap the rewards of a group willing to do what it takes to help the team’s cause.
It sounds like a win-win situation.
As long as the team isn’t hurting more than helping the people who possess ownership of it—namely, Couchiching band members—then it is an entity that deserve a long and healthy existence.
It sounds like the McPherson group has a good start on a great plan.
• • •
Two more graduates of the Muskie athletic program have earned the right to continue to pursue the game they love at the post-secondary level.
Nicole Rogozinski and Carling Barton, who helped guide the Muskie girls’ soccer team to a pile of victories and several conference championships in their tenure with the squad, have latched on with the University of Manitoba Lady Bisons for the upcoming intercollegiate season.
The duo’s leadership qualities that were fostered during their time with the Muskies should serve them well as they look to excel at the university level.
• • •
Another moved-on Muskie starts her official post-secondary athletic career tonight, but unlike the aforementioned soccer starlets, you won’t have to travel far to watch this one play.
Allison Hyatt, whose hustle and never-say-die attitude was the lifeblood of the Muskie senior girls’ volleyball squad, takes to the court this evening with her new volleyball fraternity—the Rainy River Community College Voyageurs over in International Falls.
Hyatt, the lone Canadian on the Voyageurs’ roster, will join her teammates to face the visiting Hibbing Community College Cardinals starting at 6:30 p.m.
It was a treat to watch Hyatt pour her heart into the game like she did with the Muskies, and I think I’ll have to make the journey across the river—even if my mouth is still mush after my afternoon dental appointment.
• • •
I’ll probably follow this one up later, but word reached me late yesterday that Fort Frances native Bruce McLeod, current commissioner of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association south of the border, received the first-ever President’s Award from the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame last month.
The honour will go alongside the numerous commendations McLeod has received since becoming a hockey administrator.
Among his many contributions was his help in creating the hall’s Face-off Classic back in 1974, which signifies the official opening of the U.S. college hockey season.
• • •
If you heard the ground rumbling and the sound of mountains disintegrating west of here, don’t be alarmed. It was just the aftershock of a major football upset.
The three-time defending champion Oak Park Raiders, conquerors of the Muskies in last year’s Winnipeg High School Football League quarter-finals, lost their first game in three years last Friday to the Churchill Bulldogs by a 27-7 margin.
This means one of three things. Either there is incredible parity throughout the WHSFL this year; the Raiders lost a ton of talent and are much weaker than years past; or the Bulldogs are loaded to the gills with playmakers and are a force to be reckoned with.
Mark it on your calendars: Bulldogs vs. Muskies in the annual Homecoming game here Oct. 3. Bring your “A” game, black-and-gold—you’re going to need it!

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