Here’s a recap of some of the best sports stories from the second half of 2017.
The 68th annual Bridge Lake Stampede, one of the last amateur rodeos left, is held in memory of Bill Cunningham, a longtime competitor in the event.
“His sons and grandsons competed in the rodeo and still help to put the rodeo on to this day,” said Jamie Law, Bridge Lake Community Association president.
Five teens from Canim Lake competed in the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in Toronto from July 16 to 23, despite the Gustafsen wildfire. Taylor Daniels, Terrance Hubick-Archie, Quincy Archie, Trinity Jensen and Morris Bob were the five athletes competing in track and field and canoe/kayaking. Daniels won five medals including a silver in the 150m dash.
“Going up on the podium I was nervous at first, but I had lots of fun. I’m glad I went,” she said.
Jaden Knight of the Sucker Creek First Nation and residing in Forest Grove also competed in the NAIG in Toronto. Knight reached the podium three times for javelin (gold), discus (gold) and shot put (silver).
Lac la Hache’s Alicia Briggs travelled to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast to show off her judo skills on the international stage during the Jeux de la Francophonie (Francophone games).
Competing in the under 57 kg senior women’s category, Briggs came in fifth but had nothing but good things to say about her experience in the West African country.
“Abidjan and the cultural experiences and in general being there with the other teams from Canada – it was a sports and culture games- so I got to see a lot of crazy things I’m not used to, so it was a lot of fun,” Briggs said.
The 100 Mile House Wranglers started gearing up for the 2017-18 season, with the general manager and head coach Dale Hladun preparing September’s training camp and attending various tryouts around the province looking for talent.
The organization was also enlisting billets to host the team’s players.
Tracy Moore, a triathlon athlete, placed second in the Iron Man Canada triathlon in Whistler, enabling her to participate in the Iron Man World Championship hosted in Kona, Hawaii, a year after she was denied the chance by three and a half minutes.
“I’m so excited. It’s something I have been chasing for years, so I am pretty happy,” she said.
Justin Bond is named the captain of the 100 Mile House Wranglers. The twenty-year-old native of Williams Lake is in his fourth and final year with the Wranglers.
“I was just honoured. I’ve known the captains before me and I’ve played with them and [I’m] just honoured to be in the same class as those guys and have the same role as them,” said Bond
Wranglers head coach Dale Hladun was happy with this September’s training camp, determining it better than last season’s. He was also happy with many of the young talent emerging such as Joel Patsey, Hayden Lyons and Darian Long.
“I’m happy we’re getting going and the direction we’re going,” said Hladun.
Endurance rider Anya Levermann was selected to represent Canada at the Young Rider’s World Endurance championships in Verona, Italy on Sept. 23. She was paired with Kataki, an Arabian horse from Bratislava, Slovakia. Levermann and Kataki competed in the 120 km race, placing 51.
The Wranglers win their home opener
6-0 against the Sicamous Eagles in front of a 500-plus crowd after losing their first two games of the season.
The Revelstoke Grizzlies were handed their first loss (3-2) of the season at the hand of the Wranglers in a scrappy affair that would be a norm this season. In total, 113 minutes of penalties were handed out and three player suspensions for the Wranglers, including a controversial seven-game suspension for Mackenzie Benn-Wipp.
“The ref was upset because [Benn-Wipp] went on the ice and there were still Revelstoke guys in our end, so they gave him a penalty for leaving the bench,” said coach Dale Hladun of the incident, claiming Benn-Wipp went out to celebrate. “It didn’t help when he got a roughing penalty.”
Hladun was also suspended for a game. He said he didn’t care.
Seven carriages darted around obstacles during the Cariboo Trails Field Driving Trials event at the Huber Farm in 70 Mile. Teams from the South Cariboo, Vanderhoof, Pritchard and even Alberta came to participate in the three categories of dressage, marathon and cones.
Brandon Balbirnie made his debut in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, but instead of wearing the colours of the Wranglers he donned the black and white of a referee, a dream he had since he was 12.
“Yes, it was a big step for me. It’s something that I always wanted to do,” said Balbirnie.
Minor Hockey registration is roughly the same as last year according to 100 Mile and District Minor Hockey Association administrator Kersti Toews. The numbers were just under 200.
The 100 Mile Wranglers beat the North Okanagan Knights 10-3 after being pummeled by Chase Heat 9-3 the day before.
“Good for the guys to bring better effort but all due respect, North Okanagan is not the Chase Heat,” said head coach Dale Hladun.
The 100 Mile Oldtimers Hockey Association is in its 14th season of play and according to the former president, Tom Lund, it has everything to do with the support from sponsors. Two of the original sponsors were still on board.
The Wranglers lost to Kelowna but beat Osoyoos bringing them within a point of toppling the Revelstoke Grizzlies from top of the divisional standings. Head coach Hladun was impressed with how the team rebounded after the Kelowna loss. “The way they speak, the way they handled themselves in the dressing room, you could tell they were just angry and needed to do better,” said Hladun.
The 100 Mile House Snowmobile Club has struggled with membership over recent years, dwindling from 200 to 25 in 2017.
“We really don’t do anything anymore, there’s no enthusiasm in the club anymore,” said president Al Reichardt.
The 100 Mile House Curling Club held their annual mixed bonspiel.
“It was just wonderful, had a great time,” said Maria Hamilton, one of the 60 curlers on 15 teams present.
Frazer Dodd of the 100 Mile House Wranglers scored a hat-trick against the Osoyoos Coyotes in a 7-5 victory. “I can’t say enough about Fraser. He was on fire that game,” said head coach Dale Hladun.
Terrance Archie-Hubick, a 15-year-old resident of Canim Lake, was the first person from the 100 Mile House District to be given the Premier Award for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport, after competing for Team BC in the North American Indigenous Games back in July.
“He’s representing Canim Lake and 100 Mile House and considering everything 100 Mile has gone through, it’s good to see that some good came out of it,” said mother Margo Archie.
The 100 Mile House Wranglers lose their fourth game in a row after Kelowna trumps them 9-4.
“I think every person in our organization’s hockey operations needed this kick in the butt to actually move forward,” said Dale Hladun, general manager and head coach.
Dale Hladun is named head coach of Team Okanagan for the KIJHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 13 2018. “I’m excited for it and I’m proud of it and it’s quite an honour,” said Hladun.
The Wranglers finally break their six-game losing streak, beating the Chase Heat 5-3 in the latter’s