Ban­ner­man Lak­ers in­ducted into Hall of Fame

For­mer play­ers rem­i­nisce about glory days of CBN ball hockey

The Compass - - Front Page - BY LINDA SKINNER SPE­CIAL TO THE COMPASS

The Ban­ner­man Lak­ers, a ball hockey team that Har­bour Grace’s own Danny Cleary played with, was re­cently in­ducted into the Har­bour Grace Sports Hall of Fame. Dean Shute, a player with the team, spoke with The Compass about some of his fond­est mem­o­ries play­ing with the Lak­ers.

“We had a lot of fun back then, and met a lot of peo­ple … It was nice to see peo­ple we haven’t seen for a while. A lot of them had to move out of the com­mu­nity for work. It was good to get to­gether and talk about old times.” Dean Shute

The Ban­ner­man Lak­ers men’s ball hockey team was in­ducted into the Har­bour Grace Sports Hall of Fame in May, bring­ing back lots of mem­o­ries for for­mer Lak­ers who played with the team in the 1980s and 1990s.

Dean Shute started play­ing with the Lak­ers in 1988. He re­calls the team’s 54-game win­ning streak in the early 1990s, with the Lak­ers claim­ing the Con­cep­tion Bay North Ball Hockey League cham­pi­onship ti­tle for five con­sec­u­tive years.

There were about six teams in the league at the time, and ac­cord­ing to Shute, the Lak­ers were the team to beat.

“It was a very com­pet­i­tive league, and a lot of ice hockey play­ers played in it too,” said Shute.

“There was big ri­valry be­tween towns. We played a lot against Bay Roberts, and they had some of the best hockey play­ers around. They had a very com­pet­i­tive team.”

It was the River­head Red­wings that fi­nally took the Lak­ers down and ended their win­ning streak, said Shute.

“It was a big ri­valry, and of course every­body wanted to beat the Lak­ers.”

Trevor Wil­liams played with the team in the early 1990s, and re­mem­bers play­ing with some fa­mil­iar names.

“When I came back from the mil­i­tary I started play­ing ball hockey with the guys. It was around the same time Danny Cleary came back. Cory Crocker played with us as well that year. It was a long time ago, but there are great mem­o­ries from those games.”

The team went through sev­eral name changes over the years, ac­cord­ing to Shute.

“We were Hunt’s Ho­tel in the be­gin­ning. Then we went to the Ban­ner­man Lak­ers, to the Pi­rate’s Cave, to the Har­bour Grace South Gulls. We had lots of dif­fer­ent spon­sors and sup­port over the years.”

Twenty-five of the ap­prox­i­mately 31 for­mer Lak­ers at­tended the in­duc­tion cer­e­mony at the Danny Cleary Har­bour Grace Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, named for the Lak­ers most fa­mous alum – who later played for the ri­val team.

“Danny was part of that Red­wings team that beat us,” said Shute.

Shute said the in­duc­tion cer­e­mony was a re­minder of some great times.

“We had a lot of fun back then, and met a lot of peo­ple,” he said. “It was nice to see peo­ple we haven’t seen for a while. A lot of them had to move out of the com­mu­nity for work. It was good to get to­gether and talk about old times.”

It was an es­pe­cially re­ward­ing night for the two for­mer play­ers. Shute’s daugh­ter, Katie, re­ceived the So­nia Wil­liams award for Ju­nior Fe­male Ath­lete of the Year, and Wil­liam’s son, Ryon, won the S.W. Moores Memo­rial Senior Male Ath­lete of the Year award for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year.

COMPASS PHOTO

The Ban­ner­man Lak­ers were in­ducted into the Har­bour Grace Sports Hall of Fame in May. About 25 for­mer play­ers were on hand to ac­cept the hon­our and rem­i­nisce about the glory days of ball hockey in Con­cep­tion Bay North.

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