Hair today — gone by Sunday?

I’m sticking my neck—and my hair—out on the line.
The Muskie senior girls’ basketball hold the fate of both their season and the top of my head in their hands as they travel to Thunder Bay this Friday for the best-of-three NWOSSAA final against the Thunder Bay champs.
To my knowledge, no Fort High squad as reached the all-Ontarios in senior girls’ hoops ever. And other than the Kenora Broncos reaching that elite level a few years long ago by advancing automatically because the Thunder Bay teachers were on strike, no NorWOSSA team has ever made it, either.
But all trends have to end at some time, and I’ve decided to provide a little more incentive in the Muskies’ quest to make history.
Should the team defeat the defending NWOSSAA champion Churchill Trojans in Thunder Bay this weekend, I will subject my bushy hat rack to head coach Mike Busch’s troops for hair removal purposes.
In short (and it will be short, no doubt), I have agreed to let the team shave my head into a Mohawk style for a photo opportunity, which subsequently will be published in this column.
Then, due to professional obligations which deny me the ability to interact with the public while looking like a rebel biker, I will allow the clipper-wielding hoopsters to clear my head of the remaining locks—leaving me resembling your standard cue ball.
It will be a long shot for this Muskie bunch as their opponents are far from pushovers.
Churchill has been dominant most of the season in the Thunder Bay high school league. They struggled in the first game here in last season’s NWOSSAA showdown, but flexed their muscles mightily in game two to sweep the series.
They have the advantage of having a club team system set up in the city year-round, which provides significantly more court time than is available to the Muskie players. The Trojans also have size, speed, and a multitude of confidence.
But while consistency sometimes has been a sore spot for this Muskie crew, the team has displayed—at times—an ability to run their opponents right off the court.
They own a win this year over a Thunder Bay-based team in the St. Ignatius Falcons, who are no Churchill, but who are no slouches, either.
They have the height, speed, and competitiveness to go far. And, almost to a player, they believe this is their year to author a new chapter in Muskie history.
As for meeting hair challenges—well, ask Fort High athletic director Darren Johnson to recall his burgundy ’do of a year ago when he threw the gauntlet down to the squad as their coach at the time to win NorWOSSA. He—and his hair—found out what motivation can do for a team.
This team has never failed to be co-operative and respectful of the work I do, and make it hard not to pull for them to do well.
So, here you are, ladies. A little hair-raising incentive has been sent your way. Now, it’s up to you whether I continue towel-drying my head, or just air drying it.
The scariest part? I don’t know how much of it will come back once it’s gone. Anybody know a good toupée shop in town?
• • •
If you’re a novice curler and are itching to get in the game, or feel like you’ve been away from the rink too long, an open league on Tuesday nights at the Fort Frances Curling Club is just the ticket.
Players can sign up in teams if they prefer, but individuals and couples are welcome to join the mix and will be placed on teams soon after registering. There is no age limit, and teams can be all of one gender or mixed.
Teams will pay a one-time-only season fee of $50, plus $20 per team for each week they play. Registration will be accepted past this week, but interested individuals are asked to sign up as soon as possible.
Contact Rick Grenda at the curling club (274-6667) to sign up or for more information.
• • •
The overseas adventure continues for Fort Frances native and former Quebec Nordiques and Calgary Flames forward Chris Lindberg.
The 36-year-old Olympic silver medalist with Team Canada at the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France was the top scorer for Swiss ‘B’ League squad HC Ajoie last season.
But it still wasn’t good enough for his employers and Lindberg was released afterwards.
He now has caught on with VSV Villach of the Austrian Bundesliga, where he has 13 points in his first 12 games, including one game-winning goal.
Lindberg has been invited to play for Team Canada in several international tournaments over the years—and most likely will earn more invitations to do so given his experience at the international level.
• • •
With a new town council soon to be in place in Fort Frances, hopefully a project that was shoved to the backburner because of the town’s financial difficulties will find new life sometime next year.
The north slo-pitch diamond at the St. Francis Sportsfield was to have undergone a radical transformation this past year to make it more baseball-friendly by adding such features as a shale infield and a regulation artificial mound.
But when the town’s deficit situation came to light, the project was shelved indefinitely.
Fingers are crossed in the local baseball community that the new council can balance their books well enough to restart the renovation plan next year, and give local baseball players, especially youth, another site to partake of the game that belongs to the boys—and girls—of summer.

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