Glace Bay Pan­thers ap­peal­ing for school hockey to re­sume


Pan­thers play­ers not giv­ing up on sea­son.

Dev­as­tated high school hockey play­ers have one goal, to get the game back on the ice.

“As soon as we found out last year that we were go­ing to be host­ing the provin­cials this year we’ve all been look­ing for­ward to it,” said Lo­gan Bre­sowar, a Grade 12 stu­dent at Glace Bay High School and a mem­ber of the Pan­thers hockey team.

Bre­sowar said when the teach­ers’ work-to-rule job ac­tion be­gan across the prov­ince Dec. 5 the play­ers pan­icked.

The job ac­tion re­sulted in the can­cel­la­tion of all school sports. And al­though a con­tract has been im­posed on the teach­ers, on Wed­nes­day the Nova Sco­tia School Ath­letic Fed­er­a­tion of­fi­cially can­celled re­gional and pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onships in six school sports in­clud­ing hockey.

In a story in the Cape Bre­ton Post Thurs­day, the fed­er­a­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Stephen Gal­lant said the de­ci­sion was made be­cause as win­ter sports wind down other sports start up cre­at­ing an over­lap among ath­letes, coaches, vol­un­teers and school ad­min­is­tra­tors.

As well he said many coaches and play­ers be­came in­volved in the Hockey Nova Sco­tia Midget X League that was es­tab­lished for high school play­ers.

Bre­sowar said al­though the play­ers en­joy the X league it’s not the same as high school hockey.

“It didn’t mean as much as high school means to all of us.”

He said the play­ers are crushed and are ap­peal­ing to the NSSAF and school ad­min­is­tra­tion to re­verse the de­ci­sion.

“A chance to host and pos­si­bly win (the cham­pi­onship in) our last year would be amaz­ing.”

The Pan­thers were sched­uled to host the provin­cials at the Bay­plex March 30-April 2, for the first time in the 16-year his­tory of the school.

On Fri­day, mem­bers of the Pan­thers took let­ters ap­peal­ing for re­con­sid­er­a­tion of the de­ci­sion to school ad­min­is­tra­tion and the NSSAF.

Vice-prin­ci­pal Stephen MacNeil said the doors are al­ways open to the stu­dents and he praised the pas­sion of the team mem­bers.

“I think that’s great ini­tia­tive on their part.”

Team goalie Kaine Drake is up­set that they had the Pan­thers Clas­sic tour­na­ment can­celled and now the provin­cials.

“I feel it’s taken away from us and the com­mu­nity.’

In his let­ter, Drake asked of­fi­cials to re­think the 2017 pro­vin­cial hockey tour­na­ment.

“I along with my team­mates and our fans beg you to re­con­sider,” he wrote. “I wear my Pan­ther jer­sey with pride and I feel a great per­sonal loss since it has been taken from me.

“I stand by the teach­ers and ap­pre­ci­ate that you are fight­ing for a bet­ter fu­ture for all stu­dents. But please don’t take away any more of my grad ex­pe­ri­ences.”

Pan­thers cap­tain Con­ner Camp­bell said can­cel­la­tion of the provin­cials was a dev­as­tat­ing blow to the team.

“It’s a pretty tough pill to swal­low,” he said. “Ev­ery­body was look­ing for­ward to it.”

Camp­bell said he joined the Pan­thers in Grade 10.

“I be­came close to the coach and since then we talked about build­ing the team for this year to host and hope­fully win provin­cials,” he said.

“The midget league is still fun and we’re still play­ing but it doesn’t mean as much as a high school team would. “

For­ward Nathan Liv­ingston said the provin­cials are im­por­tant to him be­cause it brings not only the school to­gether but also the com­mu­nity.

“We have a town that al­ways sup­ports our lo­cal sports and there has been a lot of talk of how Glace Bay High was host­ing this year. This is some­thing our team has been wait­ing for to rep­re­sent our school and host the prov­ince’s top high school hockey play­ers.”

The Post con­tacted the NSSAF on Fri­day to see if the de­ci­sion could be re­versed but no re­sponse was re­ceived.


Mem­bers of the Glace Bay High School Pan­thers, from left, Kaine Drake, Lo­gan Bre­sowar and Con­nor Camp­bell stand by the en­trance to the high school on Re­serve Street, Fri­day. The hockey play­ers are hold­ing let­ters they have writ­ten to school ad­min­is­tra­tion and the Nova Sco­tia School Ath­letic Fed­er­a­tion, ap­peal­ing for high school hockey to be re­in­stated.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.