Throughout the final week of 2011, the Trail Daily Times will glance back at some of the best moments in Greater Trail Sports, in words and photos, for the calendar year. Each day will cover a four-month span with the hot days of summer from May to August up to bat.
The 2011 summer months were packed with action as Greater Trail hosted events from the B.C. Junior Golf Championships to the B.C. Seniors Games, capped off with the exciting Western Canada Baseball Championships at Butler Park.
May kicked off with Kootenay Chrysler Bull-A-Rama that saw perennial favourite Chad Besplug win his fourth title in a row.
Zone One West Kootenay Junior golfers had even more to shoot for as the Trail Rossland Golf and Country Club hosted the provincial championship that gave seven local golfers a chance to qualify.
Warm summer evenings were punctuated by the sound of bat on ball as minor ball, the Trail Jays, West Kootenay Diamondbacks and AM Ford Orioles hit the diamond.
The Orioles, after competing in the newly formed Pacific International League, took the experience and parlayed it into a thrilling victory over Manitoba to win the Western Canadian championship.
The Trail All Stars had a great early run at the Little League Major provincial title in Victoria winning their first two games before bowing to the competition.
And Butler Park, the century-old home to the boys of summer, made it to the sweet 16 in all of Canada in Baseball Canada’s favourite ballpark contest.
Meanwhile Ella Matteucci continued her winning ways. After helping the Notre Dame Hounds women’s team to an Esso Cup in hockey, she joined the senior boys ‘AA’ baseball team, and pitched a no-hitter against the Regina White Sox in her first start.
Led by Samme Beatson who was unbeatable in area meets and won two silver and a bronze medal at the BCSSA provincials, the Trail Stingrays swim club raked in the grand aggregates this season winning five of their seven swim meets including regionals. The Stingrays diving squad also cleaned up at the B.C.’s with seven gold and seven silver medals of their own.
Area triathletes like Dallas Cain, Carol Corbett and Kelly Geisheimer continued to excel, with Cain and Geishwimer winning Nelson’s Cyswog ‘n’ Fun race, while Cain won in Sylvan Lake and came second in Osoyoos and Corbett finished second in her category in half-triathlons in Christina Lake and Sylvan Lake.
But it seemed the whole year was building towards the 2011 B.C. Senior’s Games in which Greater Trail shared hosting duties with Castlegar and Nelson. The Games turned out to be a remarkable success for the athletes and the area.
The West Kootenay team entered the contest with their largest team yet. About 400 athletes competed and turned in the best collective performance ever, winning 240 medals including 106 gold, 65 silver and 69 bronze.
But more than that, visiting athletes and officials were impressed at every turn with the facilities and organization, especially the hospitality of local residents and the efforts of more than 1,500 volunteers.
2 – Chad Besplug of Claresholm wins the Kootenay Chrysler Bull-a-Rama title for the fourth consecutive year.
10 – Beaver Valley Minor Hockey and Trail Minor Hockey amalgamation vote is rejected. Despite getting a majority the 75 per cent needed to merge associations was not achieved.
16 – BCHL reduces the number of teams that make the playoffs from 12 to 8, delays the start of the season to Sept. 23, and introduces schedule change, emphasizing inter-divisional rivalries.
16 – The Kootenay Ice of the WHL are off to the Memorial Cup after taking out Craig Cunningham and the Portland Winterhawks in five games.
24 – Greater Trail golfers Kevin Bennett, Tyler McKay, Brenan Moroney and Garrett Underwood win spots in the B.C. Junior Golf Championships held at the Birchank Golf Course in July. Brendan McKay and Jordan Hoodikoff are named to the team later.
25 – RSS Senior Girls soccer team win their regional title, sweeping all five matches in Nakusp to earn a birth in the “A” provincial finals.
2 – Trail Smoke Eaters deal Travis St. Denis to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for three players.
8 – Redstone’s Kevin Bennett wins the West Kootenay Junior Golf circuit with a 27-hole victory at the Creston Golf Course.
9 – Pitching for the Notre Dame Hounds senior boys double-A baseball team, Fruitvale’s Ella Matteucci hurls a no-hitter against Regina.
16 – Boston Bruins defeat Vancouver Canucks 4-0 in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final.
21 – The Trail Colonials win the Kootenay Rugby League championship with a 10-5 victory over the Cranbrook Rogues at Sunningdale Park.
22 – Golfer Marc Cross picked up a cool $30,000 for his hole-in-one at the second hole at Champion Lakes Golf Course during the Garret Horbul Fathers’ Day tournament.
24 – Trail Rays win Jr.Babe Ruth title.