Mixed thoughts for the end of May

Yesterday afternoon came the worst sports news I’ve heard in a while. Jason Pattison was sick and home from school—his appearance at the Muskie awards banquet that night up in the air.
This banquet is a chance, probably the only chance, for different athletes from all the high school sports to get together and celebrate with each other. The two standouts at the banquet are the male and female athletes of the year.
This year, Jason Pattison (badminton and curling) and Heather Dutton (swimming and cross-country running) earned these prestigious honours—two special athletes competing in sports beyond the realm of those normally recognized, especially at the high school level.
Two athletes I was looking forward to seeing recognized.
You see, Jason and Heather are two people who are very difficult to interview. Smart, busy people who don’t particularly like being under the spotlight. Shy, yes.
When you ask them questions, there is generally some “Why are you talking to me when there are other people who have accomplished things?” attitude.
I was hoping these awards (well-deserved in both cases, by the way) would show these two teens that they had, in fact, accomplished something major. Dedication to both academics and athletics—and excellence in both areas.
These kids (excuse the term) are the kind of people you just want to stop on the street and tell them they’re amazing.
• • •
The Flames.
That is my answer to the Stanley Cup final.
The Flames.
I don’t know if they can keep doing what they’ve been doing, but I sure as heck hope they can. Not just because I’m a fan of the team, but because I want to see what happens in the Saddledome when they win.
The place might just implode.
I have never seen a more unlikely run to the Cup final and I’ve loved watching every minute. I think a lot of us have.
It’s been a rough year for hockey. There have been a lot of debates and a lot of mishaps, but this is the beauty of sport.
The Flames.
• • •
Word has it the Florida Panthers are going to take two coaches off the market today, ready to announce Mike Keenan as their new general manager and Jacques Martin as the new head coach after demoting Rick Dudley over the weekend.
I guess my assumption that the team was talking to Martin because Dudley was GM and had worked with him in Ottawa was a little off.
The Senators, meanwhile, are still looking for a coach while Phoenix and Detroit have yet to decide what they’ll do about their current situations.
• • •
Here’s hoping the weather is perfect for soccer this weekend and a huge crowd shows up to cheer on the Muskie girls vying for the NWOSSAA crown at the St. Francis Sportsfields.
Head coach Struchan Gilson told me this team may be the best he’s coached yet, and that’s a pretty big statement.
Go Muskies!
And if you cheer on the girls loud enough, the boys might hear you wherever they are playing this weekend for NWOSSAA glory and a berth at the all-Ontarios.

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