Cam with a plan

Wild­cats’ cap­tain to give up fi­nal ju­nior-el­i­gi­ble sea­son to join RCMP

Annapolis Valley Register - - RECREATION/COMMUNITY - BY JOEY SMITH SALTWIRE NET­WORK TRURO, N.S.

Life goes on af­ter ju­nior hockey and Cameron Al­laby plans to get a head start.

Al­laby, cap­tain of the Val­ley Wild­cats of the Mar­itime Ju­nior Hockey League, has made the de­ci­sion to forgo his fi­nal ju­nior-el­i­gi­ble sea­son next year for a ca­reer in polic­ing. The 19-year-old from Masstown, Colch­ester County, has been ac­cepted to the RCMP and will be­gin train­ing next May in Regina.

“I’m gonna miss the boys,” said Al­laby, who is fol­low­ing the same ca­reer path as his un­cle Scott, an RCMP of­fi­cer in the North­west Ter­ri­to­ries. “We prac­tise ev­ery morn­ing and I’m go­ing to miss com­ing to the rink ev­ery day.”

The sec­ond-year de­fence­man said he would love to fin­ish his com­pet­i­tive play­ing ca­reer next sea­son with the Wild­cats, how- ever, he’s ex­cited to move on to the next chap­ter of his life in a job where he can help oth­ers.

And his coach, Nick Gree­nough, re­spects that.

“It’s al­ways tough as a player; it doesn’t mat­ter if you’re 19 or 35 when you’re go­ing to make that de­ci­sion,” to quit play­ing, said Gree­nough, “but to be an RCMP of­fi­cer, that’s quite an hon­our … and I think we, as Cana­di­ans, are in great shape hav­ing guys like him as an RCMP of­fi­cer, so I com­pletely re­spect that and I’m happy and proud.”

Al­laby played mi­nor hockey in De­bert and Truro be­fore mov­ing on to mid­get AAA in Pic­tou County. As an un­der­sized de­fence­man, he wasn’t ex­actly a sure­fire prospect for the Wild­cats, who made him an eighthround pick (109th over­all) in the 2017 MHL draft. How­ever, his de­sire to com­pete at the ju­nior level and fol­low in the foot­steps of his fa­ther, Dave – a de­fence­man who played ju­nior hockey in Truro in the mid-1980s – al­lowed him to per­se­vere and be­come a pop­u­lar player with Val­ley.

The Wild­cats didn’t name a cap­tain in Septem­ber but in­stead went with five al­ter­nates, in­clud­ing Al­laby. As the sea­son went on, Gree­nough said the hard-work­ing blue­liner emerged as a leader, and as a re­sult was awarded the ‘C’ in late Novem­ber.

“He’s a kid who’s very ma­ture above his years,” said Gree­nough. “He’s a guy we want lead­ing our club; we know he’s gonna show up and com­pete ev­ery night and he’s do­ing a great job with it.

“Ob­vi­ously, fight­ing’s not a big part of his game but he hangs in there and he throws them when he has to and sticks up for his team­mates, throws big body checks ev­ery game and he puts it all on the line; he’s a lit­tle pit bull out there.”

While small in stature – five­foot-seven, 180 pounds – Al­laby plays well above his size and has be­come a re­li­able player in all ar­eas of the ice. He plays big min­utes for the Wild­cats and is a reg­u­lar on the team’s power-play and penalty-killing units.

“If it was up to me I wouldn’t come off the ice,” he smiled.

The Wild­cats have taken their lumps in re­cent years. They missed the play­offs dur­ing Al­laby’s rookie cam­paign and ap­pear headed for the same fate this sea­son with just five wins in 27 games so far to sit last in the 12team MHL.

De­spite the team’s strug­gles, Al­laby said he is proud to play for the Wild­cats.

“It’s a huge hon­our to play for this or­ga­ni­za­tion,” he said. “They re­ally care about their play­ers. There’s noth­ing more I can ask from this or­ga­ni­za­tion; they do a lot for me and all I can do is play hard for them.”

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