Plans will get rolling next week now that Fort Frances has landed its bid to host the OFSAA boys’ hockey championship in 2006.
As first reported in Friday’s Daily Bulletin, the town’s bid was presented to a committee in Toronto that morning by Harry Curtis, the NWOSSAA boys’ rep to OFSAA.
The decision came down very quickly and the news began spreading to local committee members at 10 a.m.
“I was surprised and very, very excited,” said Greg Ste. Croix, Fort High’s co-athletic director and co-convener for the tournament with former Muskie head coach Terry Ogden.
“Terry Ogden and I are going to sit down next week and formulate a plan. How we sort of see the project going forward,” he added.
The committee still has work to do, but a lot of the most important connections were made while putting the bid together.
Many local businesses already have pledged support, on-ice officials are lined up, and the games are set to be played at the Ice for Kids and ’52 Canadians arenas here as well as the one in Emo.
“There’s a lot of work ahead, however, going through with the bid has definitely given us a jump on getting things done,” said Ste. Croix.
“The plan is to make that a very workable site, user-friendly for all of NorWOSSA, so that when it comes time for OFSAA . . . we have all the glitches worked out,” Ste. Croix remarked.
The experience of going to OFSAA in London this past season with the Muskies, and seeing the tournament from the peripheral, was good, he added.
“When I went down, it gave me an opportunity to see how the tournament ran. It just gave me a little better idea how an OFSAA tournament should run,” Ste. Croix noted.
“With Terry’s experience at previous OFSAAs, we’re going to take on our own way of running the event.”
Those plans will wait until next week, though, as Fort High hosts the NWOSSAA badminton tournament today as well as an exhibition soccer tournament this coming weekend.
“We’re still basking in the glow,” admitted Ste. Croix. “Next week we’ll get down to work in the preliminary stages.”
Ste. Croix also hopes the idea of playing in an OFSAA championship on home ice gives the younger Muskies incentive to keep up with their skills and training.
“I would imagine it would be very exciting,” he said. “It’s now in their hands to get bigger, faster, stronger, more skilled.
“Going to an OFSAA event is very, very special. I think we really did our homework,” he added. “I think we’re going to continue to do our work to put on a really excellent OFSAA.”