Back in the saddle

Talk about needing a holiday to recover from your holidays.
Two weeks of barnstorming my home province of Alberta was a time to remember, what with getting to be best man at my brother’s wedding in Edmonton (whassup, Scott?), and then spending a week in Calgary visiting friends (and trying to survive the maniacs who appear to rule the local roads).
Now, as I battle this full-fledged head cold, I prepare for the storm of activity after the late summer calm.
With both junior and minor hockey ready to take to the ice, the high school athletics schedule set to blast off, and a multitude of other sport happenings in the offing, things are going to get busy around here in a hurry.
But that’s why this is such a great area for athletics that appeal to both the tall and the small. And that’s what makes this job so entertaining for me.
Sound the bell. Fort Frances Fall Sports 101 is in session.

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The grand re-opening of the newly renovated Plaza Lanes has been put on hold, but pinfall aficionados will be able to get the ball rolling soon enough.
Sunday was supposed to have been the debut of the revamped facility, which now includes electronic scoring, string pins and a bar area. But due to unforeseen circumstances, the doors will now be officially flung open to the public on Sept. 7 at 12 p.m.
League play will commence soon after, and this ink-stained wretch just might have to lace up the shoes and get back out there this season after work commitments sidelined me for most of last year.
As for my bowling style, well, think of a combination between Twinkletoes Flintstone and a mechanical bullrider with one too many shots of tequila in him. To call it ugly would be an understatement.

• • •
Those of the flip, flop, and fly category will soon be back catapulting and cartwheeling around the Fort Frances Gymnastics Academy.
Registration for all gymnastics programs for the 2003/04 season will take place tonight and tomorrow night from 6-8 p.m. at the academy, located at 835 McKenzie Avenue North, and again on Sept. 2 from 6-8 p.m.

• • •
A one-day community-wide blitz to help benefit the Muskie football program will take place Sept. 8, beginning at 5 p.m.
Muskie players will don their game jerseys and roam door-to-door throughout Fort Frances offering Touchdown Club discount cards to the public.
Don’t worry about the hard sell approach from the young gridiron group, either. The players won’t be asking for money from you, and will only take your name, address and phone number if you express interest in getting the card, which entitles the holder to a wealth of discounts from businesses throughout the local area.

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Tryouts for the Muskie girls hockey team will run from Sept. 2-5 at the Ice for Kids Arena.
Sessions run from 6:45-8:15 on Sept. 2-4, and from 4:15-5:45 p.m. on Sept. 5.

• • •
The Fort Frances Cyclone Swim Club enters its second season on a high note, after team member Daniel Murray was recently recognized by Swim Ontario as the Northwest Region Swim-A-Thon’s top achiever for the 2003 season.
Registration for the Cyclones takes place Sept. 4 from 5-7 p.m. in the lobby of the Memorial Sports Centre.

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A memo to all you stock car lovers out there: save your gas money this weekend.
The Borderland Racing Association will be taking the week off from competition at Emo Speedway, as many connected to the association are heading south for the Labour Day Shootout racing event in Minnesota.
The engines will roar to life again Sept. 6 with a full day of activity. The go-kart racers will hold their annual Fun Day, beginning at 11 a.m., before that evening’s stock car action gets underway.
That evening, the speedway will hold Fan Appreciation Night, with one highlight being the annual Pit Man’s Race, which will involve all those grease-covered car junkies who do their best to make sure their racer can dash to the checkered flag.
There will also be no racing Sept. 13, but a possible make-up night may be held Sept. 20 in light of losing previously scheduled nights of racing due to inclement weather.

• • •
Season tickets for the defending SIJHL champion Borderland Thunder are now up for grabs for those wishing to renew their passes from last year.
Current season ticket holders have until Sept. 1 to reserve their seats, at which time all seats not accounted for will be put on sale to the general public.
There are a range of packages to choose from, including adult, senior, student, children (under-12), and even ones geared to the family.
Contact Blake Bruyere at 274-7356 or 274-6681 (after 6 p.m.) for more information.

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The Thunder will also be holding their first-ever fundraising golf tournament this Saturday at the brand-new Heron Landing Golf Course at Couchiching.
The four-person best ball event will be limited to 20 teams, as the course itself still only has nine holes available for play. The other nine are scheduled to open next spring.
Teams must be composed of players with a combined minimum handicap of 45. The event will cover the nine-hole layout twice, with different tee boxes being used the second time around.
Prizes on the line include a grand prize of four Heron Landing memberships for the 2004 year, with second place receiving a golf vacation for four to Myrtle Beach, S.C., sponsored by International Travel and Valley Builders.
The entry fee is $300, and anyone needing more information can contact Shawn Jourdain at 274-1223 or 275-8256.

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