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Sports Year in Review July to December 2010

The members of Barr-head’s Blue Heron Bowl 55-Plus Triples couldn’t have been prouder to be among the best seniors bowling teams in Canada after they placed fourth at nationals.

The members of Barr-head’s Blue Heron Bowl 55-Plus Triples couldn’t have been prouder to be among the best seniors bowling teams in Canada after they placed fourth at nationals.

They beat all competitors at provincials in Edmonton after forming a team in Barrhead during the winter.

Morris Thompson, Bill Gower and Allen Young travelled to Winnipeg to compete at Rossmere Lanes. They faced the best teams from five western provinces, including two teams from Ontario, in the five-pin national championships.

The three-man team came into nationals with a team average of 398 from the provincial championships at Callingwood Lanes on April 11.

When the dust settled, the team from Barrhead landed in fourth place, a result Thompson said every team member is very proud of as they were up against the best senior bowlers in the country.

“They were the same as everyone else,” he said, speaking to the proficiency of each team. “They were all throwing better than we were. You didn’t want to think about their scores or anything, you just wanted to play your own game.”

They came up just short, but the Barrhead Twilighters senior slo-pitch team had a weekend to remember at a tournament in Sangudo.

After beating the Calgary Pickups, Drayton Valley Seniors and St. Albert’s Legends, the Twilighters qualified for the A final in the 16-team tournament against the Edmonton 60s.

Although they were in the contest for five innings, things finally fell apart for the local squad late in the contest, with Edmonton coming out on top by a score of 22-11 to claim the tournament, held at the twin ball field complex in Sangudo.

Co-coach Gerald Nanninga said his team played the best ball they played all summer and are very proud to have made the finals in one of the best local tournaments of the season.

“We did very well,” said Nanninga. “To make the A final in a 16-team tournament of this calibre, is very rewarding. Of course, we would have liked to have won it all, but the Edmonton team that beat us is a select team of the best players from four or five teams in Edmonton, and they were a really solid club, so losing to them is nothing to be ashamed of. We were very happy with the way we played, so overall it was a very good weekend.”

The highlight of the weekend came in the semifinal against St. Albert as the Twilighters got off to a very rough start and were trailing 9-0 after two innings of play.

They stormed back to win the contest 15-13 to advance to the championship game.

Calgary’s James Faraday put on a clinic in precision golf to easily defend his title at the popular Barrhead Golf Club’s 2010 Men’s Open.

Faraday shot a final-round score of 72, to match his score from Sunday, after opening the tournament with a three-over-par round of 75.

His 219 total was eight shots better than runner up Dave Dunville of Whitecourt, who fired 227 over the three-day tournament, which again attracted a large contingent of 140 golfers to the Barrhead Golf Club.

Barrhead’s Tracy Pess had an outstanding tournament, finishing third overall with a three-day total of 229, to edge out Pat Legris of Fort Saskatchewan, who finished fourth with a 230 total.

Faraday, who has now won the men’s open in Barr-head four times in the past 10 years, said defending his title was a matter of playing consistent golf throughout the weekend.

“To shoot three over par over three days is very good golf for me,” he said. “I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens in regulation, so I made an awful lot of pars and that was good enough.

“The weakest part of my game is chipping and I hardly had to chip all weekend because I was hitting so many greens, and that made things a lot easier for me.”

Faraday said he started coming to Barrhead for the men’s open because his father-in-law, Lyle Lavendar, really loves the course and plays it regularly.

“My father-in-law, Lyle, has a sister-in-law named Lucy who lives in Barrhead, so he’s been playing in Barrhead for years. I think he’s been playing here for 25 years, so he asked me to play with him about 10 years ago in the men’s open. I really loved the course, and I’ve been back ever since.”

Faraday said the Labour Day weekend is one of his favourite of the entire summer because he plays the men’s open in Barrhead and has seen so much success.

“I don’t really play a lot of tournament golf,” he said. “I usually play the Alberta mid-Amateur and in the club championships at Predator Ridge Golf Course in Vernon, B.C., and then Barrhead, and that’s about it.”

Faraday loves the layout of the Barrhead course and the fact it’s always in superb playing shape, he said.

“It’s a wonderful course, and I always meet some really good guys to play with,” he said. “I truly enjoy the tournament and the course, so I keep coming back.”

Faraday, who started golfing at age 12, said he will definitely be back in 2011 to see if he can three-peat as men’s open champion.

John Osborne’s golf buddies started calling him “Ace” after a “one”derful summer at the Barrhead Golf Club.

Osborne was the talk of the club in July and August after hitting three holes-in-one – all on the same hole – at the local championship course, all within a seven-week span.

The most amazing part of the story is Osborne has been an avid golfer most of his life – and a very good one as he sports a five handicap – and had never had an ace in his life until his string of good fortune this summer.

“I had come close many times, but had started to think it was never going to happen,” said Osborne, who has been a member at Barrhead Golf Club since it opened back in 1981.

Osborne said many of his golfing buddies had cracked jokes at his expense about never having an ace, considering he’s one of the best golfers in town.

“I said for years that getting a hole-in-one was a lucky shot or a bad shot, because I knew a lot of bad golfers who had one, but I’ve obviously changed my mind on that.”

He got his first ace on July 4, hitting a nine-iron to the green at No. 7.

“I knew I’d hit a good shot. My ball landed a couple of feet in front of the hole, took one bounce and went in,” he said. “It truly was a thrill and kind of a relief, because after all these years of golf, I finally had my first hole-in-one.

“It was an amazing adrenaline rush, and I’ll never forget it.”

Regular partners Norm Miller, Ken Graham and Larry Marsden witnessed the shot, as did course superintendent Rick Tarasiuk, who was watering some grass near the women’s tees, said Osborne.

Less than one month later on the morning of Aug. 1, Osborne hit the same nine-iron on the same hole and got the same result.

“The pin was in the back this time, and again I knew I’d hit a pretty good shot,” he said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t see that one go in. I thought my ball had plugged in the green because I hit such a high shot, but I went up towards the hole and only realized it had gone in once I was a few feet away.”

His third ace came three weeks later on Aug. 25.

This time the tee box was up, and the pin was on the front of the green, so he hit a pitching wedge instead of a nine-iron.

“My shot hit a slope about 15 feet past the pin, had some spin on it and rolled back right into the back of the hole,” said Osborne. “To get one was thrilling, but to get three only seven weeks apart was incredible.

“I’m just happy that I actually hit three good golf shots to get them because I’ve played with other golfers who skull a shot and the ball goes in for an ace. You have to be good and lucky to get a hole-in-one, but to get three of them so close together is pretty amazing and something I’ll never forget.”

Winning three consecutive provincial championships doesn’t happen every day, but the Barrhead Composite High School senior Gryphons boys volleyball team can now lay claim to such a feat.

The Gryphons started the tournament Nov. 25 with a game against the Chestemere Lakers. The Gryphons dominated the entire game right from the start, said coach Rod Callihoo, and won the matchup in two games 25-18 and 25-10.

The Gryphons then took on the Camrose Trojans, which marked the second time this season the two teams would face each other. It was the Trojans’ power hitter who had the Gryphons worried, Callihoo said. The Gryphons took the game in two sets, 25-18 and 25-17.

The Gryphons played the Cardston Cougars in their third game of the tournament. The Gryphons had a chance to watch their competitors play the day before, so the team was able to prepare for this game, Callihoo said. They walked away with a two-set victory with final scores of 25-16 and 25-13.

The final match of round-robin play pitted the Gryphons against the Peace Wapiti Academy Titans. Callihoo described it as a “really good match,” as the Titans are a team the Gryphons have competed against all season. Barrhead once again emerged victorious in two sets with final scores of 25-19 and 25-21.

The Gryphons’ first playoff game of the tournament was against the Parkland Composite High School Pacers, a team which beat Barrhead at zones the weekend before the provincials.

The Gryphons got their first taste of defeat after losing to the Pacers in three sets. The final scores were 14-25, 25-23 and 14-16 in a match Callihoo said was one of the most competitive and well-played of the entire tournament.

Barrhead was granted a bit of a reprieve, however, and received a bye into the semifinal round because of their dominant performance in the early stages of the tournament.

The Gryphons faced the Louis St. Laurent Barons in the semifinals and eked out a victory with final scores of 25-18 and 27-25.

That victory secured the Gryphons’ spot in the final, where they would face host school RF Staples T-Birds.The T-Birds had claimed victory against the Gryphons at zones, and went on to win the entire tournament, Callihoo said.

The T-Birds took the first game 25-18, but Barrhead bounced back and claimed the next two games 25-21 and 15-11.

Dausen Kluin is a well-loved and extremely bright and articulate young man who has the ability to treat each and every day as something special, but he’s also a tremendous and powerful athlete.

While he gets a lot of attention and praise for his determination to enjoy life while overcoming the challenges that come with having Cerebral Palsy, Dausen wants to be recognized equally for the endless hours of training he puts into armwrestling.

Dausen, 17, and a huge group of 30 family, friends, schoolmates and supporters flew off to Las Vegas International Airport Dec. 6.

Dausen was poised to compete at the World Armwrestling Federation World Championships in Mesquite, Nevada.

He qualified by winning his weight division in the youth class at the Canadian national championships in Winnipeg.

While winning his class against other CP athletes was an honour, Dausen said he’s just as proud of finishing as the runner-up in his weight class in the open division against able-bodied athletes.

After finishing fifth last year at the world championships in Kelowna, B.C, Dausen headed to Nevada as a very confident young man who is in the best shape of his life.

“Of course I’d like to win, but my real goal is to place in the top three,” said Dausen, following a remarkable and emotional pep rally at Fort Assiniboine School, where the entire student body and teachers threw a huge celebration to send off Dausen to the world championships in style.

“I’m still very young at age 17, and I know I have many good years ahead of me, but I want to be a world champion one day, and I don’t plan on stopping until I reach my goal. If I can’t do it this year, then I know I will be ready in two years from now when the world championships are in Brazil.”

Dausen weight trains at home and then practises his armwrestling technique with coach Joel Christianson on a regular basis throughout the year.


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