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Play by Play for the U of S football Huskies, Melfort Mustangs, Nipawin Hawks & Humboldt Broncos

Archive for July, 2009

Nipawin Hawks Hockey School

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 31, 2009

The Nipawin Hawks will be holding another hockey school in the near future. The school will start on Sunday August 23rd and go until Thursday August 27th. It will be for kids of various ages and skill levels. Head coach & GM Colin O’Hara and assistant coach Duane Thorpe will be running it but there will be many different people helping out with instruction including many present and past Hawks players. The deadline to register is August 14th and the $125 dollar entry fee includes on-ice instruction, a jersey, report card, barbecue dinner on the last day and 3 tickets for upcoming home games including their season opener against La Ronge. Colin O’Hara talks about the school. To register, call the Hawks office at 862-4878 or pick up forms at Harolds Sports & Shoes and Verklan Motors.

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Broncos Sign Key Players Over Summer

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 31, 2009

There has not been a lot of talk about what the Humboldt Broncos have done over the summer as Head Coach & GM Dean Brockman is often known for being tight lipped when it comes to news about his team. He did talk about 3 of the players he has coming to camp recently however. They are forward Spencer Baht from the Beardy’s Blackhawks, forward Patrick Tran of the Tisdale Trojans and defenceman Klay Kachur from the Saskatoon Blazers. Baht had the most impressive statistics of the 3 putting up 32 goals and 31 assists in just 42 games for the Blackhawks last year. He also averaged over a point per game in the playoffs. To go along with his 63 points, he also compiled 125 penalty minutes. Dean Brockman talked about the differences between Baht and Tran. Patrick had 21 points in 44 games while 6′ 1″ 195 pound Kachur was solid on defence but also contributed offensively with 15 points in 41 games. Brockman also said he will find out early on whether he is going to have a young team or an old team. Recently, Dean was one of the candidates up for the Regina Pats assistant coaching job that was eventually taken by Shaun Sutter.

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Mustangs Raise Funds

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 31, 2009

The Melfort Mustangs held their 17th annual Codette Lake Walleye Cup tournament last weekend. The team of Russ Heatherington of Carrot River and Greg Gessner of Saskatoon won the top prize winning close to $2800 dollars after bringing in a 2 day weight of 46.34 pounds. Gerald and Penny MacGillivray of Melfort were 2nd at 44.93 pounds, with the team of Barry Hurd of Melfort and Dennis Blais of Livelong finishing 3rd. The Blais, Hurd tandem caught the biggest walleye at 12.43 pounds, which tied them with Heatherington and Gessner.  Steve Taylor and Travis Foulliard won the Dobson Welding Cool Under Pressure award, and got $500 dollars for that. I am told the Mustangs made just under $5000 dollars at this year’s event which is great to hear, especially after their Alumni Golf tournament was cancelled a few weeks back because of a lack of entries.

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Mitch Friesen Could Step Right In

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 31, 2009

I have been off for the last week and as I mentioned in a post before, there is no internet available on the farm (except dial-up) so I haven’t been able to post lately. However, I am back at work today and wanted to talk about a new Huskie recruit that has a very bright future. His name is Mitch Friesen. He’s a defensive back (and safety) who plays very aggressively. He has spent his last 4 years with the Saskatoon Hilltops in the CJFL’s Prairie Football Conference. Friesen looks to be a shoe-in to be a part of the Huskies secondary for the next 3 years and maybe 4. He is seeking to get an extra year of eligibility because in his 2nd year with the Hilltops, he ruptured a tendon in his hand in his first game of the year and didn’t play again that season so he is just waiting on word of if that year is going to count. He has some impressive credentials including being an all-star in 2007 & 2008 (‘07 as a db & ‘08 as a safety). He also won a national championship in ’07 while in ’08 his team went undefeated throughout the regular season and PFC playoffs. That’s a far cry from his high school days at Bedford Road Collegiate where his team finished 0-8 in his senior year. Last year, he finished the regular season tied for 2nd place in the PFC with 3 interceptions and was tied for 32nd in tackles with 51. His stats probably would have been even better if not for the Hilltops outstanding defensive line who made everyone’s job a little easier. Friesen admits that he would have liked to have been a little bit busier back there so he could have showed off his stuff a little more. The 22 year old Saskatoon native has already done a year and a half year of Kinesiology and will pick that up again when school starts up in the Fall. His dream has always been to play for the U of S and that dream is about to come true. He believes he will be able to make the transition from junior football to university, even though he admits CIS football is “bigger, faster and stronger than junior” but will feel at home as 6 of his Hilltop teammates will be at Fall Camp as well. Here is what Mitch Friesen said about the current Huskies secondary. Right now he is building vinyl fences in Saskatoon waiting for the end of August to finally arrive. Mitch is down to 2 days a week in the gym training but is spending 4 days per week doing “position specific drills” which are mostly running speed and agility drills. There is one person that is looking forward to the start of the season as much as Mitch is… that’s his Dad who already has his season tickets and will be in the stands watching his son proudly. His older sister is also quite athletic as she runs track with the U of S and won 2 gold medals when competing at nationals. Mitch considers himself a ball hawk which should fit in just fine in a secondary full of ball hawks, hard hitters and savvy defenders. Welcome to the Green & White Mitch.

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A Look At Huskie Recruit Jeff Hassler

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 21, 2009

Everyone knows B.T. is a great recruiter and he has proven it again by bringing in Jeff Hassler who was pursued by many other programs. He is a 5’10” power running back from Calgary and played his last 3 years at Holy Trinity Academy in Okotoks. That particular high school graduated no less than 6 CIS athletes this year from what he told me. His statistics are staggering to say the least. He averaged a gaudy 14.6 yards per carry last season (no that’s not a misprint). He also set a record for touchdowns in a season with 37 (yes in one season). Hassler says he averaged about 150 yards a game but because his team would win by scores of 60-0 etc., he would only get to play half the game. Imagine what kind of stats he could have put up if he had played the whole game. He also played a lot of slotback which held his running numbers back. In fact, his team was so good, they were forced to leave the “Big Sky” Conference and will be playing in the Medicine Hat League next year. They went undefeated in their regular season and lost by 6 points in the Provincial semi-finals but Jeff still averaged over 100 yards per game against the stiffer competition. He is still 17 years old (doesn’t turn 18 until August 21st) and is hoping to be a 5-year Huskie as he pursues a Business Degree. I asked him what appealed to him about the U of S, here is what Jeff Hassler said. Jeff won what he called, “The All-star Award” in all 3 years in the Big Sky Conference. B.T. gave him the base off-season training program that he gives most recruits and Hassler sticks to it 3 days a week. You may have also seen him in the 2009 Football Canada Cup where he won Offensive Player of the Game in the first game. One of the players he is rooming in Saskatoon with right now is his Holy Trintity teammate Charlie Power, who was a linebacker on the squad. Yes, he is enjoying living in the Bridge City and is looking forward to training camp next month.

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Update From ‘Broncos Make Money’ Post

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 21, 2009

I added a couple of figures to that post as we didn’t have exact numbers at that time. In a nutshell, the Green & Gold made $8988 dollars last year to bring down their deficit to $40 000 dollars. The team made a whopping $163 000 dollars the previous year when they won the Royal Bank Cup. Despite still having a deficit, it is being paid down on a timeline which frees up the rest of their capital they have for spending as they need. Two-thirds of their revenue comes from tickets sales while the other third is made through advertising & fundraising.

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Fall Camp Not Far Away For Huskies

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 20, 2009

Mark your calendars, the U of S Huskies are all geared up for the start of Fall Camp which will start on Thursday August 20th with the players going through testing. The very next day, two-a-days begin and this is where the coaching staff can really see who took their their off-season training regimes seriously. The Huskies had a great Spring Camp and from all reports a pretty good off-season in general. We will once again be seeing some new faces on the field. Here is a clip of who QB Laurence Nixon is excited about seeing in camp. There will be exactly one week from when Fall Camp starts and when the Huskies take on the Alberta Golden Bears in an exhibition match up at Griffiths Stadium. The public is welcome to check the camp out. I remember B.T. telling me once that there are more people in attendance to watch the Huskies camp then there are people watching regular season games in a couple of stadiums around the Conference. That really speaks volume, not only of the organization, but of the people in Saskatchewan as well. And just as a side note, the report everyone has been waiting for regarding Mosaic Stadium in Regina is finally in. A new dome stadium has been recommended. The government, city and the Riders will put up a million dollars on a feasability study now. Also, I just talked with Huskie recruit Jeff Hassler while I was doing this post and I will feature him in an upcoming one. This guy has some pretty incredible stats and should fit in nicely.

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Huskies Game Day Experience

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 17, 2009

QB Laurence Nixon has been busy this summer staying in shape, volunteering his time and heading up the season ticket drive. He is urging people not to wait any longer to purchase season tickets for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is the Game Day experience.  Going to Griffiths Stadium is not just a game but an event. Young and old bond together, not just to watch the Huskies play, but to be part of something that very few other stadiums can provide. From the Huskies running out on the field from the endzone underneath the big dog to Neil Diamond singing between the 3rd and 4th quarters, it is really something to take in.  As much as I will miss the afternoon home games this season, there is definitely something to be said about weekend games under the lights. It has been so much fun and so popular, why not do all the games under the lights? I know part of the decision was made to avoid conflicts with the Saskatchewan Roughriders games but it doesn’t matter what time the game is played, there’s something about watching the Hubert Buyden fans on the sidelines without shirts chanting his name or the wave going through stadium. Season tickets are still going strong. With regards to season tickets and the Game Day experience, here’s what  Laurence Nixon told me today. I have also updated the “Interviews” section of my site. Over the next little while, I’m going to try and get all of the Canada West coaches to talk about what they’ve done over the summer.

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Broncos Make Money Again

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 17, 2009

The Credit Union and Anavet Cup champion Humboldt Broncos have netted a profit again this year. They held their AGM on Tuesday and announced that all of their Board vacancies have been filled. The team once again turned a profit which was helped out by their long playoff run. Here’s what President Lee Dufort  said. In 2009, the Broncos made $8898 to bring their deficit to $40 000.  Last year, their fan support was about the same as the year before. Not huge during the regular season but got better as they went deeper in the playoffs. The club made $163 000 in 2008. The biggest crowd I have ever seen watch a game at the Elgar Peterson Arena was April 15th, 2008 for Game 7 of the Credit Union Cup final (Credential Cup back then) against Kindersley when the announced attendance was 1822 to keep the fire martial happy but was probably closer to 2500 (some say 2800). Every seat was full and there were literally 4 and 5 rows of people standing all the way around the arena behind the seats.

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Huskies Records

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 15, 2009

It’s always fun to look at old records and some current players who may have a chance to top some of them. There are alway some that appear like they will never get broken.  Just one Huskie player last year set a record (actually tied) and that was Dathan Thomas who scored 4 touchdowns at the September 6th game at Mosaic Stadium where the Dawgs beat the Rams 42-14. Touchdowns can be a funny thing. Dathan ran for 4 but ended with just 59 yards on 14 carries that day. That is sometimes how it goes for a power running back. Unfortunately, we all know what happened to Dathan and his entire football future is uncertain. His rushing totals in his last 3 games were: 125, 169 and 112 which was the game he got injured in. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe he only played about half of that game so who knows what kind of numbers he might have put out. But he is in the Huskies record book. Receiver Scott McHenry, who was drafted in the 4th round of the CFL draft this year by the Calgary Stampeders, has a shot at being the Huskies all-time receiving  leader in yardage. He comes into the year with 1750 career yards which means he’ll need 546 yards to surpass Kevin Sawatzky who has held the record of 2295 yards since 1985. McHenry was outstanding at the start of last season but his numbers tailed off a little bit in the last half. If quarterback Laurence Nixon can stay healthy, he will have a chance for some single game and season records for passing yards, especially with the Dathan situation. Wide receiver Travis Gorski is a game breaker and he is in that same category as Nixon. He led the team in receptions, receiving yards and tied for the lead in touchdown catches. He should be even stronger this season and look for him to get the ball a lot. I have added a “Huskies Records” category to my site as I feel that we could see some new ones this upcoming season. Let’s hope I’m right.

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Hawks Sign Tash

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 11, 2009

The Nipawin Hawks have added depth up front by signing forward Brendan Tash. He put up some pretty good stats with the Prince Albert Mintos last year with 14 goals and 22 assists for 36 points in 43 games. He is versatile as well as he can also play defence. Here is what Head Coach & GM Colin O’Hara had to say about hime. O’ Hara also said his plans are to mainly use Tash as a left winger. The Hawks training camp opens on August 28th.

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CK750 Broadcast Hockey/Football Schedule

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 11, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve posted as I’ve been on holidays, well sort of, I’ve been renovating my old house and unfortunately don’t have internet at the new one but I will be back to work on Tuesday and hopefully be more up to date. One thing I did at the farm (new place) a few days ago is make out our stations broadcast schedule for the year. The Huskies schedule was easy as Kelly Bowers and myself are broadcasting every game (home & away) for the exhibition, regular and post seasons. We will be broadcasting every football game on CK750. The first one is an exhibition home game against the Alberta Golden Bears. As for the SJHL sked, I have put in 68 games between our 3 teams which is about a dozen more than last year. Melfort, Nipawin and Humboldt will all get 27 broadcasts each which includes many head to head match ups against each other. As usual, most of the games will be on the road as Melfort has just 5 home games while Nipawin and Humboldt have 4 each. We will also feature 2 games on our opening night (which will be every teams 2nd game). Our first broadcasts are on September 19th with Humboldt at Notre Dame (on CJVR-FM) and Nipawin at La Ronge (on CK750). Our first Melfort broadcasts will be September 24th, 25th and 26th on their 3 game southern road trip to Notre Dame, Weyburn and Estevan. All SJHL games are on CK750 unless there are 2 games the same night or if it conflicts with one of our Huskies broadcasts. I will be officially releasing the schedule when I come back from hoildays in a few days. Listen to CJVR/CK750 for details.

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Huskies Depth / Football C.C. / Riders

Posted by Darryl Skender on July 2, 2009

The University of Saskatchewan Huskies have been looking for depth in certain positions this off-season to help fill future voids from graduating players. It seems like the biggest holes are going to come on defence. Brian Towriss talks about some of these concerns. CK750 Color analyst Kelly (Biff) Bowers is busy these days helping coach Team Saskatchewan. The Under 19 team’s first practice is Saturday from 2:00 to 3:50 while the Under 17 team is having their first practice from 2:30 to 4:20 tomorrow. Biff may be retired but he still helps coach high school football as well as aid in the Huskies broadcasts on your Game Day station CK750. He has never been short of words and I’m sure he will be passing along his wealth of knowledge which he has gained from is 83 years in football (just kidding Biff). Griffiths Stadium is the site for a “Recruitment Fair” on Monday. 12 universities (including the U of S  and U of R) are taking part from across the country. This is my last day at work for 10 days. I am away from the sports desk from July 3rd-13th but will try to do some updates on my blog while I’m away. I am in the middle of remodelling my old house which is sucking up most of my spare time right now. Also; don’t forget the Riders are at home to BC tomorrow. Former Huskie standout Gene Makowski is on the injured list to start the season. That’s his first time missing a game due to injury. He missed one a couple of seasons ago because of mono. Other former Huskies on the squad are Offensive Lineman Jordan Rempel and Punter Jamie Boreham. You won’t see former ‘Dawg’ Kelly Bates in the BC line up. He was traded in the off-season to Winnipeg. I saw him at the Russ Jackson Dinner a couple months ago and he said he is still good friends with Makowski.

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