Archive for Sports

Nolting headed to N.J. to play NCAA lacrosse

Charly Nolting, pictured here at left, has accepted an offer to play for Drew University’s women’s field lacrosse team this fall.

By Joel van der Veen

CRAIK —  Charly Nolting’s next stop is more than 3,000 kilometres away.

This August, the 19-year-old Craik resident will move to Madison, N.J., to attend Drew University and play for the Rangers women’s lacrosse team.

She said the move is worth it to be able to keep playing the sport she loves, now at the NCAA level.

“If I was to stay here, I’d be done sports completely,” she said Thursday.

Though lacrosse is growing in popularity in this province, Nolting said women currently have few options for continuing to play past the high school level.

Charly is the daughter of Jason and Shanna Nolting of Craik, the oldest of their three children.

She graduated from Grade 12 last year, and is currently working as a summer student for the Town of Davidson.

Charly started playing lacrosse in Moose Jaw when she was 12 years old, beginning at the novice level, and continuing all through high school.

In 2015, she was named the Saskatchewan Lacrosse Association’s female athlete of the year.

Last year, she and her teammates on the Moose Jaw Midget Mustangs won tournaments in Lethbridge and Calgary, along with both the league and provincial titles in box (indoor) lacrosse.

For the last two years, Charly also played on the female ELEV8 elite field lacrosse team based in Calgary. She and her mother travelled from Craik to Calgary each weekend for the first year.

The following year, she lived in Red Deer with her aunt and uncle and commuted from there. She also took part in the ELEV8 winter training camp, held at the city’s Olympic Stadium.

For the full story, please see the July 17 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.


Art Knutson, 92, left a legacy beyond the rink

Art Knutson (skip), Ernie “Twink” Vaughan (third), Gerhard “Gay” Knutson (second), and Elmer Knutson (lead) won the Canadian senior men’s curling championship in 1978.

By Joel van der Veen

ELBOW — Their victories put Elbow on the map for a generation of curling fans.

A trio of brothers — Art, Elmer and Gay Knutson — and skip Doug Wankel made headlines in February 1967 when they claimed the provincial men’s curling title with a win over Harold Worth’s rink from Saskatoon.

Though Elbow was then in its boom years — its population had grown from 281 in 1956 to 470 a decade later, thanks to dam construction on the South Saskatchewan River — the Wankel rink was still widely seen as a long shot.

“They were the underdogs,” recalled Ernie Richardson, who skipped his own rink to four Brier wins between 1959 and 1963.

The Tankard win took Art Knutson and his teammates to the Brier, where they competed admirably, ultimately falling short of the national title.

But as friends and family recalled recently, that was merely one accomplishment in a life filled with them.

Art, who died in May at age 92, went from a Saskatchewan farm to the wartime skies over Europe, serving as a Lancaster tailgunner in the final months of the Second World War.

He was an accomplished curler who competed on the provincial and national stage for decades, as well as a dedicated husband and father.

“Anything he did, he excelled at,” said Art’s son Pat, who works for a printing company in Altona, Man.

Richardson, who grew up in Stoughton, said he met Art in the 1960s and felt a connection with the small-town curler. They remained in touch for decades, meeting up for an occasional round of golf.

“He was the kind of guy you couldn’t help but like,” Richardson told the Leader. “He never forgot where he came from.”

For the full story and more photos, please see the July 3 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

McNabb among picks for Golden Knights

Brayden McNabb speaks to the media following the Vegas Golden Knights’ announcement of their draft picks last week.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — One of Davidson’s own is among the draft picks for the NHL’s newest expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights.

Brayden McNabb, for the last three seasons a defenceman with the Los Angeles Kings, was on the roster announced by the team Wednesday at the NHL Awards.

McNabb, 26, is the son of Kim and Jeannine McNabb, and was raised in the Davidson area.

In a Twitter post Thursday, he thanked the Kings for the past three years, calling them a great organization and saying he’d be forever grateful.

“Excited for a new start,” he also wrote.

His mother told the Leader on Wednesday that they had been aware of a potential move since Brayden was on the Kings’ unprotected list, and they also received some advance notice prior to Wednesday.

“We knew it was a possibility,” she said. “I kind of figured they were going to be picking him.”

In three seasons with the Kings, McNabb logged 42 points, including six goals and 36 assists. He also recorded a total of 491 hits.

He was a third-round draft pick (66th overall) for the Buffalo Sabres in 2009, playing 37 games with the team over two seasons.

Prior to that, he played four full seasons with the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League. His final season with the Ice was his best in terms of scoring, with 22 goals and 50 assists.

McNabb stands 6’4” tall, weighs 212 lbs. and shoots left.

The Knights’ draft picks included 13 defencemen, along with two more acquired via trades.

Given that the team is expected to adjust its roster in the coming months before its debut season, Jeannine McNabb said her son’s future was uncertain.

“Time will tell whether he stays there or not,” she said. “With the hockey world, you never know.”

She said Brayden was surprised by the announcement, despite knowing he could be a pick.

“I know he really enjoyed L.A. and he really liked his teammates,” said Jeannine. “But that’s part of the job.”

For their part, Vegas will be easier to fly into when they visit from Saskatchewan. Jeannine said they’d received plenty of phone calls and text messages since the announcement.

The addition of the Golden Knights brings the total number of NHL teams to 31. It is the league’s first expansion team since 2000, when the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets both joined.

Senior boys honoured for sportsmanship

Davidson School’s senior boys basketball team displays its sportsmanship award banner at the June 19 school awards ceremony. Pictured from left are: Leonard Wipf (SaskMilk), coach Kim Rettger, coach Luke Edwards, Hunter Wall, Clay Murfitt, Andrew Read, Parker Smith, Morgan Manz, Cole Murfitt, Reegan Taylor, Mark Rettger, Tobi Arowolo, Rylan Slemming, Blake Allan and Dave Sandomirsky (SHSAA).

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Their grace in the face of defeat left an impression.

Last week, the Saskatchewan High School Athletics Association (SHSAA) recognized that grace, presenting Davidson’s senior boys basketball team with the Sportsmanship Award.

The award was presented to the Raiders during the school’s annual awards ceremony, held June 19.

Dave Sandomirsky, SHSAA’s assistant executive director, spoke of the team’s skill and success throughout the season, as well as the reason they were being so honoured.

“In our society, we tend to reward and celebrate the winner,” he said. “But how do you react when you lose? . . . How do you carry yourself as a team while in competition?”

Sandomirsky said the team’s behaviour is a reflection of the school and its culture.

“The Raiders impressed people wherever they went, for all the right reasons,” he said. “They were humble in victory, respectful in defeat and did not get caught up in the moment to allow themselves to find places to lay blame.”

He read a statement from David Wells, coach of the Twin Lakes School in Buffalo Narrows, whose senior boys team defeated the Raiders in 1A regional playoffs in Davidson in March.

Wells, who nominated Davidson for the award, wrote that the Raiders came to his team’s dressing room after their loss, wishing them the best at Hoopla.

They helped them pack up, carried mats back to the gym and assisted with cleaning the change room.

“I have never experienced anything like that before,” wrote Wells, adding that his players agreed that “the Davidson coach and players were great people with tremendous character.”

For the full story and more photos, please see the June 26 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Read wins bronze at provincial meet

Emily Read (right) of Davidson School won bronze in junior girls tetrathlon at the provincial track and field meet on June 2.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — A bronze medal wasn’t the only thing Emily Read took home from last weekend’s provincial track and field meet.

Read, who competed in the junior girls tetrathlon, scored a personal best in long jump, one of the four events.

She also gets to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and pride that comes from competing and succeeding on the provincial stage.

“It’s an amazing experience just to go to provincials and compete there and see the different athletes,” Read told the Leader last week. “Winning a medal makes it an even better experience.”

The Grade 11 student was one of nine athletes from Davidson School to compete at provincials in Saskatoon on June 2 and 3, and the only one to earn a medal.

She said she was feeling nervous but excited heading into provincials. In training, she said, she focused on the track events, where there was the most room for improvement.

“I was hoping for a ribbon, for sure,” she recalled. “I didn’t know how it would go.”

Her first event on Friday was the 100-metre dash, where she placed second in her heat and sixth overall with a time of 14.46 seconds.

Read then threw 8.32 metres in the shot put, placing second. This was an encouraging result and she realized that a medal might be within her reach.

She recorded a personal best in the long jump, 4.42 metres, earning first place in that event.

She said the pressure was on heading into the final event, the 800-metre run. There she placed sixth with a time of 2:47.58.

The run was held just before 7 p.m. and the results weren’t announced for almost an hour afterward, when Read learned she’d be taking home the bronze.

“I was really happy,” she said. “Going into provincials, I didn’t think I’d get a medal, so I was pumped.”

Read scored a total of 1,851 points, only 31 points shy of the gold-medal winner, Ally Kosteniuk of Balgonie. A total of 16 girls competed in the event.

A banner with Read’s name will be presented to the school and hung in the gymnasium. (Her name is already up there on another banner, presented to the Davidson/Loreburn RaiTec for winning 2A volleyball provincials in 2015.)

Read played basketball and volleyball at school this past year and is also active in softball and dance.

She said she plans to continue with track and field next year with hopes of improving her results at the tetrathlon.

Read also competed at provincials last year in the midget girls long jump, scoring a personal best of 4.26 metres.

Two athletes from Davidson reached the top 10 in multiple events at the provincial meet.

Clay Murfitt competed in four junior boys events. He placed seventh in the high jump (1.65 m, 7/25) and ninth in the 100-m hurdles (15.93 in semis). He also competed in the shot put (10.42 m, 13/28) and the 100-m dash (12.48 s, 21/28).

Meanwhile, in the midget girls division, Jordan Matheson placed eighth in long jump at 4.78 metres (8/28) and ninth in triple jump at 9.78 metres (9/27). She also completed the 100-m dash in 13.75 seconds (16/16 in semis).

For the full story and complete results, please see the June 12 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Back-to-back bronze for Hanley pole vaulter

Jadyn Reiber (right) of Hanley Composite School won bronze in the midget girls pole vault at the provincial track and field meet on June 3.

By Joel van der Veen

HANLEY — Flinging your body around with the help of a long, narrow pole might seem daunting, but fortunately it gets easier with time.

“It can be a bit scary hurling yourself into the air, I guess,” said Jadyn Reiber, a pole vaulter and a Grade 10 student at Hanley Composite School.

“It was hard at first . . . Once you get over the fear factor, then it gets a lot easier and your confidence grows.”

Having won two provincial bronze medals in two years, Reiber knows what she’s talking about.

She won bronze in the midget girls pole vault last year, with a height of 1.90 metres.

On June 3, she repeated the feat, increasing her height to 2.25 metres. Both years, she was the only Hanley athlete to return home from provincials with a medal.

Reiber said she participates in other events but has focused on the pole vault in the last couple of years.

“Honestly, I’d see people doing it and I thought that it would be kind of fun,” she recalled.

She and other rural students practised at the field house on the University of Saskatchewan campus once a week, giving them an opportunity they might not otherwise have at smaller schools.

In recent weeks Reiber has been suffering from a virus, which weakened her somewhat on the day of the event. She said she’s still curious to know how she would have done had she been in perfect health.

“I was hoping to do better, but that didn’t happen,” she said, adding, “I’m happy with the way it turned out.”

She has avoided injury so far in her pole vaulting career, though she had a close call while warming up at provincials this year when the mat was harder than she expected.

“My first jump was kind of a surprise,” she said. “I kneed myself in the face.”

Reiber plays volleyball at school and has also played on various club teams. Her other sports include curling and badminton.

“I do pretty much everything the school has to offer,” she said.

With a couple of years to go, she plans to continue her efforts on the field, with the aim of improving her results and perhaps taking home a silver or gold.

“A lot of the girls do club track in the city,” said Reiber. “I think if I push myself, I can hopefully reach that goal.”

For the full story and complete results, see the June 12 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.