New league a slam dunk

Men’s bas­ket­ball ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a re­vival in Har­bour Grace

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

It’s 7 p.m. on a Thurs­day night and the sounds of squeaking sneak­ers and pound­ing bas­ket­balls can be heard com­ing from the gym­na­sium at St. Fran­cis School in Har­bour Grace.

But, it’s not the sounds of students pre­par­ing for a school dance or a sports team sneak­ing in an ex­tra prac­tice.

It’s the newly-re­vived Con­cep­tion Bay North men’s bas­ket­ball league, back af­ter be­ing dor­mant for more than a decade.

Whis­pers of a league re­turn started be­ing heard in the spring of last year, when a group of play­ers who had been scrim­mag­ing recre­ation­ally on Tues­day and Thurs­day

nights started kick­ing around the idea of a sum­mer league.

While that did not hap­pen, the idea stayed in the back of the minds of those play­ers un­til they started scrim­mag­ing again in early Septem­ber.

An ex­ec­u­tive was se­lected — Barry Hicks (vice-pres­i­dent), Trevor Smith (trea­surer), Dave Pen­ney (sec­re­tary), Bob White (NLBA rep­re­sen­ta­tive) and Shane Lam­bert (pres­i­dent) — and they started reach­ing into the CBN sport­ing community in or­der to gauge the in­ter­est level … and there was.

The ex­ec­u­tive at­tracted play­ers from Bay Roberts to Car­bon­ear look­ing for a semi-com­pet­i­tive game of ball. Some had played pre­vi­ously in the old men’s league, while oth­ers ei­ther played high school ball or saw ac­tion in one of the var­i­ous men’s leagues oper­at­ing in St. John’s.

As it stands, the league is com­prised of three teams and about 40 ath­letes.

“We are cer­tainly sat­is­fied (with the re­sponse), but we hope that this is just the be­gin­ning,” said Lam­bert. “I think much of the im­pe­tus came from the ap­par­ent in­ter­est in and around the Car­bon­ear/Har­bour Grace area, in play­ing struc­tured, se­ri­ous games as op­posed to the scrim­mag­ing we had been do­ing up to that point.”

A team from the area played provin­cially in division III last year, cap­tur­ing the cham­pi­onship.

Pos­si­ble ex­pan­sion

Both fac­tored heav­ily into the de­ci­sion to try and re­vive the league.

“I think that was when we re­al­ized that we had the in­ter­est and some pretty good tal­ent in the community,” added Lam­bert. “I be­lieve that win kind of ce­mented our re­solve to get the league up and run­ning again.”

There were talks of a fourth team com­pet­ing in the league, though it fell through due to a lack of player com­mit­ment.

There are al­ready talks to have the league ex­pand next year.

“I would cer­tainly like to see it go on, as I am sure the other mem­bers of the league would like to as well,” said Lam­bert. “There are many of us who live in the area and have no plans to leave any­time soon.

“With that, I can say con­fi­dently that suc­cess this year will fa­cil­i­tate the con­tin­u­ance of the league in years to come.”

As it stands, the ex­ec­u­tive is pleased with the three-team league, but are still on the look­out for other tal­ent should they want a com­pet­i­tive game.

“Even if we can’t ac­com­mo­date them this year, next year we will be look­ing at ex­pand­ing,” he said.

Men’s bas­ket­ball is back in CBN, and it could be here for awhile.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

LEFT: Astros’ in­fielder Bradley Riggs snares a ball and has to hurry to beat the Clarenville High run­ner to first base to record the out in round-robin ac­tion of the AAAA soft­ball tour­na­ment hosted by As­cen­sion Col­le­giate in Bay Roberts on Oct. 12.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

The As­cen­sion Col­le­giate Astros beat the Holy Heart High­landers 3-2 to claim the cham­pi­onship of the Oc­to­ber­fest Hockey Tour­na­ment in Mount Pearl Oct. 8-14. Mem­bers of the team are: front (l-r) – Mitchell Dob­bin and Kelland Mercer; mid­dle – Ryan Daw­son, Chris­tian Dawe, Adam Oates, Bran­don Pet­ten, Nick Nose­wor­thy, Bran­don Mo­ri­ar­ity, Tyson Drover and coach Keith Mercer; back – coaches Paul Gosse, Trevor Dixon and Jeremy Mercer, Macken­zie Dob­bin, Kyle Cronin, Scott Mercer, Kyle Mug­ford, Reilly Deer­ing, Michael Critch, Johnny But­ler, Brady Bar­rett, Wil­liam Hayes, Brady Power, Bradley Bar­rett, Josh Le­drew and coach Ron Nose­wor­thy.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

Shane Lam­bert is pres­i­dent of the newly re­ju­ve­nated CBN Men’s Bas­ket­ball League.

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