As­sis­tant be­comes new head coach of the Welles­ley Ap­ple­jacks

Hav­ing joined the staff last sea­son, Mal­colm Hutt tapped to lead a squad that ex­pects to see many re­turn­ing play­ers

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - FAISAL ALI

THE WELLELSEY AP­PLE­JACKS HAVE a new head coach for the 2018-19 sea­son. Mal­colm Hutt, an as­sis­tant coach in the sea­son that just ended, will be tak­ing over the reins from Brad Ger­ber, who is mov­ing into a man­age­rial po­si­tion with the team.

“It’s ex­cit­ing,” said Hutt of the pro­mo­tion. “I wasn’t ex­pect­ing to be named or be­come the head coach in the sec­ond sea­son, but the op­por­tu­nity was there. I’m look­ing for­ward to it. It’s go­ing to be a chal­lenge. I think it’s go­ing to be a lot of fun.”

A year of ex­pe­ri­ence with the Jacks un­der his belt, Hutt says he will be com­ing in with a solid un­der­stand­ing of the team dy­nam­ics.

“Tak­ing over this po­si­tion as head coach, it’s def­i­nitely a lot eas­ier be­ing part of the team last year as an as­sis­tant coach,” said Hutt. “I know the play­ers com­ing back, I know what they’re ca­pa­ble of and I got an idea of what they’re all about, so I’m not com­ing in blind.”

There’s a strong core of play­ers ex­pected to re­turn next sea­son too, which ought to give the new coach a strong ad­van­tage over the com­pe­ti­tion, notes gen­eral man­ager Brock Ger­ber.

“Right now it looks like we will have at least 16 play­ers re­turn­ing for next year, so that’s some­thing to build off again. It’s nice if we have a big­ger core re­turn­ing – it makes it a lit­tle eas­ier go­ing for­ward and work­ing with the guys,” said Ger­ber.

“They all kind of know each other; it’s not like we’re start­ing over. I think last sea­son we only had nine re­turn­ing play­ers so we had a big changeover there. You’ve got to kind of re­build and start over for a bit, and it’s tough to get ev­ery­body on the same page. But I think Mal­colm will do a good job with that this year, get­ting ev­ery­body on the same page early.”

Hutt is still com­par­a­tively new to coach­ing at this level, but in his time as as­sis­tant coach, Ger­ber says that the or­ga­ni­za­tion liked what they saw. Hutt also brings years of on-ice ex­pe­ri­ence to back him up, and

thrill for me.

As a re­sult, I have been prac­tic­ing a lot with my bow ever since my back­yard tar­get started to thaw out – it’s eas­ier on ar­rows that way.

The way I prac­tice bow hunt­ing shots for turkey is by shoot­ing at a bam­boo pole or sim­i­larly shaped sliver of card­board. To me, that tar­get rep­re­sents a wild turkey’s neck and if truth were to be told, tastes like one too.

This leads me to the point of this col­umn. As far as I know, the num­ber-one ques­tion a turkey hunter gets asked from non-hunters or new hunters is, “Do they taste good?”

This has been my ex­pe­ri­ence at least.

The an­swer is, for the most part, they taste great. Wild tur­keys eat good nat­u­ral foods and are, if you think about it, the ul­ti­mate free-range bird.

I say for the most part be­cause their legs are a bit tough. By that I mean you could prob­a­bly hit a home run with one if some pitcher made the mis­take of throw­ing a fast ball right over your din­ner plate.

The neck is an­other bit of turkey tough­ness that most of us don’t bother with un­less it is for soup.

Don’t get me wrong; turkey soup is one of my favourite re­sults of a suc­cess­ful turkey hunt. The turkey legs, neck, and meat, aside from the two breast halves, go into this soup.

But there are other uses for these as well. For in­stance, if a new turkey hunter is think­ing about hunt­ing in the same ar­eas you hunt, it’s cus­tom­ary to present that hunter with the legs of the last bird you shot, so they have an in­di­ca­tion of how good turkey meat can be.

Of­ten, this serves to re­mind those peo­ple how great trout fish­ing is in the spring – pro­vided they don’t use those legs in soup. Then you are in trou­ble.

That’s the prob­lem with turkey drum­sticks as a de­ter­rent. It can go hor­ri­bly wrong if the per­son knows how to deal with them and turn them into a de­li­cious meal.

That’s why I have de­vel­oped an­other tac­tic to keep fel­low turkey hunter away from the places I hunt. Typ­i­cally, if I meet them while scout­ing in the area, I’ll let them know that I hunt there too.

Then, if they are re­ally new at it, they’ll even­tu­ally ask that age-old ques­tion, “Do they taste good?”

My an­swer to that is now, “Sure, they do. Wanna neck?”

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