2021: A year in sports9 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021
When the calendar turned to 2021, organized sports in Manitoba were on hold. Hockey, basketball, and ringette leagues which had optimistically started up in the fall of 2020 were put on hold, eventually cancelled. But in time, organized sports returned, while individual athletes found ways to stay in top shape.Local archer hitting bull’s-eyeOne such athlete was Austin Taylor, a Kildonan-East Collegiate alumnus attending Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky. In March, Taylor won the U.S. National Indoor Collegiate Championship.“My goal is to keep doing what I’ve been doing,” Taylor told The Herald as he prepared for the U.S. National Outdoor Regional Championships in April.In October, Taylor won the 2021 U.S. Collegiate 3D Archery National Championship and was the top ranked collegiate archer in the United States.Dynasty in ElmwoodOn Aug. 16, the Elmwood Giants won their fourth consecutive Manitoba Junior Baseball League Championship, the club’s sixth title in the past eight years, after defeating the Pembina Valley Orioles 10-0 by mercy rule in five short innings at Koskie Field on Chalmers Avenue.“The whole thing happened so quickly,” said Giants manager Ed Kulyk. “It was a blur.”The championship was the icing on the cake of a nearly perfect season, where the Giants went 16-1-1, fielding almost the same roster as the 2020 championship squad.“It was so much fun, this year,” Kulyk said. “These kids are really special. To see them celebrate that and have some fun, to see them bond, it’s special.”High school sports returnSports and extracurricular activities returned to schools across northeast Winnipeg in the fall, albeit slowly and with restrictions in place to protect students against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.“It’s been a challenge, but it’s been super fun,” said Thomas Lange, head coach of Murdoch MacKay’s football team.Murdoch MacKay, Elmwood High School, and River East Collegiate took part in this year’s Winnipeg High School Football League, which played in a modified divisional format owing to COVID-19 restrictions. Miles Macdonell Collegiate fielded a nine-man team as well, while Kildonan-East Collegiate opted to take a developmental approach instead.Murdoch MacKay made it through the regular season with a 3-2 record to face Springfield in the Division 2 final, losing 34-21 in the final match.At press time, the Winnipeg High School Hockey League was approximately half-way through its regular season, with River East and Miles Macdonell competing in the Platinum Promotions Division, KEC in the Winnipeg Free Press Division East, and Transcona Collegiate, Murdoch MacKay and Collège Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau battling it out in the Price Division.Meantime, the Winnipeg Women’s High School Hockey League celebrates its 25th season this year. Miles Macdonell and River East are competing in the CTV Division 1, Collège Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau in the Winnipeg Free Press Division 2, and Murdoch MacKay in the Hire Marketing Division 3.At press time, high school curling was going strong, with the basketball season just getting underway.East St. Paul Curling Club’s women’s teams enjoying success on iceEast St. Paul Curling Club’s Team Walter, skipped by East Kildonan’s Meghan Walter, won CurlManitoba’s world junior qualifier in November, earning the right to represent Manitoba at the world junior national qualifier.“Since we lost out on a year last year, this was our goal, to win provincials,” Walter said.Not to be outdone, East St. Paul Curling Club’s Team Link, made up of skip Kim Link, third Colleen Kilgallen, second Karen Fallis, lead Renee Fletcher and fifth Lynn Fallis-Kurz, won the CurlManitoba Senior Women’s Provincial Championship on Nov. 8.The title is Link’s third in the past eight years, after winning it in 2015 and 2018.“We’re very happy for all of us, but especially Colleen Kilgallen, who is going to her first national competition” Link noted.At the same time, East St. Paul’s Tracy Fleury, Selena Njegovan, Liz Fyfe and Kristin MacCuish competed in Olympic qualifiers, eventually losing in the final to Team Jennifer Jones.MBCI Hawks junior varsity boys provincial championsMennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute’s junior varsity boys volleyball team won the AAAA provincial championship on Nov. 28.“In the fall, (the team) looked like kids who hadn’t played in a year and a half,” admitted head coach Tanner Owens. “(But) we don’t quit for balls, we play to the end. We never accepted defeat.” The Hawks went undefeated in 10 Kilcona Peguis Athletic Conference games and entered the provincial tournament as the top ranked team in the province. “A lot of these guys didn’t think we’d be top 10 in the province,” Owens said. “But we found we could be one of the stronger teams if we worked hard and continued to be disciplined.”In the quarter-finals, MBCI beat Daniel McIntyre, Garden City in the semifinals, then beat St. Paul’s to win the provincial championship. MBCI’s Miles Guenther-Hoorman was named tournament MVP, while Hawks’ Travis Schroeder and Sam Ross were named to the tournament all-star team.
When the calendar turned to 2021, organized sports in Manitoba were on hold.
Hockey, basketball, and ringette leagues which had optimistically started up in the fall of 2020 were put on hold, eventually cancelled. But in time, organized sports returned, while individual athletes found ways to stay in top shape.
Local archer hitting bull’s-eyeOne such athlete was Austin Taylor, a Kildonan-East Collegiate alumnus attending Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky.
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