Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ravenscourt's two-sport star prepares for higher learning

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RALPH Waples isn't surprised that some junior hockey teams have expressed interest in Jonathan Enright.

Enright, 17, who plays defence for the St. John's-Ravenscourt Screaming Eagles, is 6-foot-3 and weighs 205 pounds. He's a skilled player and the team captain, notes Waples, head coach of the private school's hockey squad, which is currently ranked fourth in the Winnipeg High School Hockey League.

"He leads on the ice by example," says Waples, noting that Enright, a Grade 12 student, has been with the team for the past three years.

"He has a terrific work ethic. During the Christmas break, he'd drive in from the family cottage at Lac du Bonnet so he could take part in our team scrimmages."

Waples remarks that Enright will often lead part of the team in drills during practice sessions while the rest of the players are doing another exercise at the other end of the rink.

"A lot of responsibility for getting guys ready for games falls on his shoulders. He pumps guys up in the dressing room," says Waples, adding that Enright sees a lot of ice time on the powerplay and penalty killing units. "He's extremely powerful."

Enright's family is originally from Lac du Bonnet, but they lived in Abbotsford, B.C. for 10 years. He's been playing hockey since age six.

"My dad, Richard, was a hockey player," he says, adding that his dad played for the Lac du Bonnet intermediate league team years ago.

"He got me involved in a minor hockey league in B.C. Then I moved to AAA at age 10 and played that until we moved back to Manitoba at age 13. I started attending SJR and so decided to play for them."

Enright was invited to try out for the AAA Monarchs two years ago, but decided to continue playing for the school instead. He acknowledges that the high school league plays a good brand of hockey.

Fun position

"It's very convenient, and with the rink at school we can get ice time whenever we want," says Enright, adding that most of his buddies play high school hockey, too. "I've played defence since the beginning. I like hitting guys. It's a fun position to play, protecting the goalie."

Besides hockey, he's a force on the rugby pitch, too, having played for SJR since Grade 8.

"Last year, I decided to try out for Team Manitoba because of the Canada Summer Games," says Enright, whose parents own the franchise rights for Boston Pizza in Manitoba.

He mentions that a friend, a former member of the provincial rugby squad, informed him of the rugby tryouts in November, 2000.

"I went to the tryouts and did well," says Enright, who plays the second row lock position.

"I made the team in June. Then, in July, we went to England on an exhibition tour. We played various high school teams and did pretty good."

While the British teams weren't as aggressive as Team Manitoba, he observes that they played with more finesse and showed their Canadian counterparts some "tricks" of the game. Later, at the Summer Games in London, Ont., Enright notes that his team placed in "the middle of the pack" in the rugby competition.

With regards to hockey, he remarks that the Winnipeg South Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League have asked him to play for them since he was in Grade 10.

"But I'm too busy with school," explains Enright, whose younger sister, Karley, plays for SJR's girls' hockey team.

"Next year, I'll (probably) attend Queen's University in Kingston (Ont.) to study either business or engineering, and hopefully play for their team."

And while playing pro hockey is a long shot, he doesn't rule it out entirely.

"If the possibility arose, I'd go for it."

PHOTO MIKE DEAL/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 6, 2002 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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