Archive for Sports

Riding club wraps up season

Aidan Haraldson, left, and Hunter Wightman bring their horses to a halt during a meet in Davidson on Aug. 19.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Local horseback riders wrapped up their season with a western performance and gymkhana event at the Davidson rodeo grounds on Aug. 19.

The Davidson Riding Club hosted the event, their sixth and last meet of the season, though several riders have qualified to compete in provincial finals next month.

The club’s membership includes riders from Davidson and other nearby communities, and as far away as Saskatoon.

Riders are divided into seven age groups. Members of the local club range in age from three years to 60-plus, with the eldest being categorized as “Pioneers.”

“If you’re still riding at that age, it’s quite a compliment,” said organizer Gloria Kadlec.

JC Manz, age 3, was the youngest rider at Saturday’s event, riding by herself for the first time on Blackie, a Shetland pony. Her mom Beth was close by.

Other local riders included Hunter Wightman in the Junior C age group. His horse, Lacey, had been out of commission for most of the season, recovering from an abscess in one hoof.

Competitors are judged and assigned points in different categories.

For the full story, please see the Aug. 28 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Ranchers compete in Findlater rodeo

Hayden O’Brien, competing on the A & M Ranch team, sets up a lasso during the wild cow milking event.

By Joel van der Veen

FINDLATER — Even seasoned cowboys can find themselves on a string of tough luck.

That was the case for Boyd Sanden and his teammates, four ranching veterans who competed in their first ranch rodeo at Findlater last weekend.

“It’s all the luck of the draw on half of this stuff,” said Sanden, who competed on the Dennis Edwards team.

Edwards, a Craik-area rancher, was the captain for the team, which also included Boyd’s brother Codey Sanden and Kelly Smith, a rancher from the Tugaske district.

Boyd said the animals are often unpredictable, and having multiple teams in the arena at the same time complicates matters further.

He recalled one instance where he’d roped an animal, then had to release the rope to avoid cutting off a competitor: “That’s the way it goes.”

However, the Edwards ranch redeemed themselves with a second-place finish in the final event, the wild cow milking, and ended the day in ninth place out of 10 teams.

“Basically our goal was not to come in last, which we didn’t,” said Sanden, adding that they enjoyed the day and hope to return in the future.

The Findlater Ranch Rodeo, presented by K+S Potash Canada, was held Aug. 12 at the John Edwards Memorial Field east of Findlater.

Shannon McArton, who serves as one of the rodeo directors, said roughly 800 people were in attendance for the event, now in its ninth year.

“Given how many people were harvesting, and these things go up and down,” she said last week, “we were relatively pleased.”

McArton said the events ran smoothly and the weather was ideal.

The rodeo’s organizers prepare for the worst and had both an ambulance and veterinarian on hand, but there were no significant injuries during the day.

Ten teams competed in the ranch rodeo, which featured five events: the wild horse race, team doctoring, team branding, trailer loading and wild cow milking.

The events of the ranch rodeo are chosen to represent the daily work that happens on ranches. The program describes the event as “a salute to the working cowboy.”

Winning first place were the FWDP Team of Shawn Francis, Chris Williamson, Ross Davidson and Riley Pritchard, whose members hail from the Piapot First Nation, Ponteix and Mankota districts.

The winners are presented with the Chum Edwards Memorial Trophy, which features a bronze depiction of the late Findlater-area rancher on horseback.

For the full story, please see the Aug. 21 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Hanley White Sox win midget AA provincial title

The Hanley White Sox defeated the Ponteix Pirates 6-5 on July 23 to win the Midget AA Tier 4 provincial baseball championship.

By Joel van der Veen

HANLEY — The Hanley Merchants went their whole first season without a single win.

In their second year, they showed modest improvement, winning two games.

So it was nothing short of a shock when the team, now renamed the Hanley White Sox, finished its third season by winning a provincial title.

The Sox defeated the Ponteix Pirates 6-5 on July 23 to win the Midget AA Tier 4 provincial championship.

“We didn’t expect that at all,” said Jason Bellina, the team’s head coach, adding that while the win was a surprise, the boys earned it just the same.

“It’s not like we’re a bunch of schmoes out there. They’re good ball players. It was fitting for them to win the whole thing.”

The midget team included 16 players, drawing from Hanley, Dundurn, Kenaston and Clavet, and played in the Saskatoon league.

All their games are played in the city, as Hanley’s diamonds aren’t in line with the league’s regulations.

The past season had been the team’s best yet, with three wins in the regular season and a brief run in league playoffs, where they reached the second round.

“They’re such a good group of guys,” said Bellina. “You could just see them getting better and better through the season.”

Initially they hadn’t planned to go to provincials, but later decided to take a stab at it.

“We figured, ‘Who knows? Let’s just see what we’re up against,’” Bellina recalled.

Midget AA Tier 4 provincials were held in Ponteix from July 21 to 23, beginning with round-robin play on Friday and Saturday. Six teams competed in two pools.

For the full story, please see the Aug. 14 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.


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.

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