Mix of vet­er­ans, rook­ies Count­down To Games

Is­land ath­letes will com­pete on the di­a­mond, track, mat at Canada Games

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - Fran­cois Caron Fran­cois Caron is the cen­tral re­gion co-or­di­na­tor for the sport, re­cre­ation and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity di­vi­sion of the P.E.I. Depart­ment of Health and Well­ness. He has at­tended nine Games and will be Team P.E.I.’s as­sis­tant chef de mis­sion durin

With a lit­tle more than a week un­til the first group of ath­letes head to Win­nipeg, there are lots of de­tails be­ing looked af­ter from both a sport prepa­ra­tion and lo­gis­ti­cal stand­point.

The teams are fine-tun­ing their train­ing to peak at the right time, and I’m sure the host so­ci­ety in Win­nipeg is work­ing dili­gently to wel­come the del­e­ga­tions from ev­ery prov­ince and ter­ri­tory in Canada.

Base­ball

Prince Ed­ward Is­land’s base­ball team, which will be on that first flight, has had a busy spring and sum­mer train­ing. The team has played a num­ber of ex­hi­bi­tion games and tour­na­ments, in­clud­ing a trip to Mon­tréal to play a se­ries against a Québec all-star team.

The team fea­tures play­ers from across the prov­ince, and they will open against On­tario. Their re­main­ing games will see them play Man­i­toba, New Brunswick, Nova Sco­tia and New­found­land and Labrador in the pre­lim­i­nary rounds of the tour­na­ment. The re­sults of these games will de­ter­mine their seed­ing for the play­off round.

Ja­son Mon­aghan is the head coach of the team and has Bob Doyle as his as­sis­tant. Bob has been part of the Canada Games’ coach­ing staffs in 2009 and 2013. Dave Ben­ton is also on the bench and has been par­tic­i­pat­ing in a coach ap­pren­tice pro­gram dur­ing the past two years, which in­cluded at­tend­ing ed­u­ca­tion ses­sions with other coaches from across Canada.

Base­ball will take place at

three venues, in­clud­ing Shaw Park, Whit­tier Park and Elm­wood Giants Field.

Ath­let­ics

While the ball team is play­ing, the ath­let­ics team will be busy com­pet­ing at the Univer­sity of Man­i­toba Sta­dium. The sta­dium is lo­cated on the same cam­pus as the main ath­lete’s vil­lage, which will al­low Team P.E.I. ath­letes to eas­ily be­come spec­ta­tors dur­ing their down­time.

The team has a great mix of ex­pe­ri­enced and new Canada Games team mem­bers, and this starts off with the coach­ing staff as Colin MacA­dam and Keith Tan­ton have both coached at mul­ti­ple Games. The team also has at least half a dozen ath­letes who have at­tended the Games be­fore in ath­let­ics or other sports.

The team at­tended a large meet at the East Coast Games a few weeks back to de­ter­mine the 28 ath­letes who will rep­re­sent our prov­ince, and since then have been busy at­tend­ing a num­ber of dif­fer­ent meets, in­clud­ing the New Brunswick Le­gions and At­lantic cham­pi­onships.

Bai­ley Smith and Matthew Tan­ton also com­peted at the na­tional cham­pi­onships in Ot­tawa ear­lier this month.

Once the team ar­rives in Win­nipeg they will have a few days of train­ing be­fore the com­pe­ti­tion be­gins on Mon­day, July 31.

Wrestling

At about that time, Week 2 ath­letes will be ea­gerly wait­ing their turn to make their way to the prairies, and this would in­clude the wrestling team.

The male and fe­male wrestlers will com­pete at the Ax­wor­thy Health and Rec­plex.

The team in­cludes five male and three fe­male wrestlers, who will be com­pet­ing against other ath­letes in their own weight class. The teams will have their weigh in on Tues­day, Aug. 8, and start the com­pe­ti­tion first thing Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

The fe­male team will wres­tle in a pool with ath­letes from On­tario, Bri­tish Columbia, Que­bec and New Brunswick while the males will be pit­ted against B.C., Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, New­found­land and Labrador and Nu­navut.

The male wrestlers are led by Nik Cum­mins, who has coached at the Games in the past, and Nico Ver­ho­even, a for­mer Games’ wrestler. Steven Banks and Ka­lyn Salmon coach the fe­male team.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Mem­bers of Team P.E.I. ath­let­ics’ squad pose for a photo prior to last week’s rally.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Team P.E.I. third base­man Eric An­der­son jumps to catch a high throw as a New Brunswick player slides into the base dur­ing the Tan­ner Craswell, Mitch MacLean and Tabitha Step­ple Me­mo­rial Base­ball Tour­na­ment at Me­mo­rial Field in June.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

North Rus­tico’s Drew Hurry won this match and fin­ished sec­ond in the 54-kilo­gram cadet boys’ di­vi­sion of the At­lantic Open Wrestling Cham­pi­onship ear­lier this year at Colonel Gray High School. Hurry, who trains with the Is­land Wrestling Acad­emy, is part of Team P.E.I. for the Canada Games.

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Alyssa Weeks, an 18-year-old Fred­er­ic­ton res­i­dent, hams it up for a photo prior to Team P.E.I.’s rally for the Canada Games. Weeks will run the 400me­tre in Win­nipeg.

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