July 16th, 2024

Woodard’s dedication to sports will be sorely missed

By Trevor Busch - Lethbridge Herald on March 12, 2022.

Herald photo by Ian Martens Lethbridge Herald sports reporter Dale Woodard interviews Pronghorns women's hockey goaltender Alicia Anderson following a practice session at Nicholas Sheran Arena in 2019.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtbusch@lethbridgeherald.com

Not every reporter who comes through a newsroom makes a lasting impression on the community they cover.
But others do. And after nearly 14 years serving the local sports community in Lethbridge as a sports reporter and editor with the Lethbridge Herald, Dale Woodard has proven himself to be one of those remarkable individuals.
Woodard is leaving the Herald to pursue other interests, but the impact he has made in his years covering sports in Lethbridge leaves a legacy in his wake, and the many testimonials of sports personalities in the community prove that his departure will be more than bittersweet:
“We are going to miss Dale at the rink,” said Brent Kisio, coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. “In the seven years I’ve been coach of the Hurricanes, he has been a constant at every game and many practices. His hard work and passion for sports is undeniable and he will be missed.”
“Dale’s commitment and support of local sports has been crucial for not only the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns and our student-athletes, but for all of the sport organizations in the city,” said Eion Colquhoun, operations manager with Pronghorn Athletics. “Dale has always been eager to cover local sports and was always very receptive to new story ideas that we would send his way. Many of my colleagues across the Canada West Conference are envious of the support that we receive from the Lethbridge Herald. He will definitely be missed by our department and student-athletes.”
“Dale was not only a reporter of sports in the City but he was a friend and advocate for it as well,” said Kevin Kvame, general manager of the Lethbridge Bulls. He covered the local sports scene with passion and care and gave people a front row seat to the wins and losses and, most importantly, gave readers a behind the scenes look at some of the athletes. He was a reporter who gave any game, competition, or championship he covered both the facts and personality around the action. The Bulls organization, Prairie Baseball Academy, Little League in the area, and all of the other baseball groups in the south will miss Dale’s coverage of sports in the City. Myself and all of the game day staff who have the pleasure of being in the Press Box at Spitz Stadium with Dale at times, will miss his keen analysis as well as the humour he brought to each game he attended.”
“Dale’s connection to the Kodiaks, Kodiaks Nation and the college is unmatched and he will truly be missed,” said Todd Caughlin, athletics manager with Lethbridge College. “We knew that we were always in good hands with how Dale handled our news and presented it to Lethbridge and area! Dale will always be a member of the Kodiaks family! Once a Kodiak always a Kodiak!”
“Pronghorn Athletics was very fortunate to have your support over the years,” said Paula Gorman, business development manager with Pronghorn Athletics. “You were always professional, reliable, and considered an invaluable asset to Horns Nation. THANK YOU for being such a wonderful advocate to our local sporting community.”
“Dale was always so professional in the way he represented the paper and the media in general,” said Peter Anholt, general manager of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. “He was thorough. And also really fair with his reporting and how he handled people. The Hurricanes organization wishes Dale all the best in the future.”
“Dale has been a fixture both at Hurricanes games and all sporting events in our community for my entire time in Lethbridge,” said Dustin Forbes, broadcast and communications manager with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. “Having worked closely with Dale over the last eight years with the Hurricanes hockey club and at the ballpark with the Lethbridge Bulls, I can honestly say that Dale has been one of my favourite professional colleagues over the years and I consider him a good friend. As a communications manager, Dale has been a dream to work with. He is always there, never misses anything and is never a nuisance or worry. Dale’s quick wit, laugh and Houston Astro’s hat will be missed (well, not the hat). His work ethic, passion and love for his craft was undeniable and only matched by his love of country music (JK). Dale will absolutely be missed both at the ENMAX Centre and Spitz Stadium.”
“I always got the impression Dale was equally as excited as I was after a win or a good game or if we were talking about qualifying for the Mac’s tournament or discussing the potential of the team after final cuts at the beginning of a new season,” said Doug Paisley, head coach and GM of the Coaldale Copperheads. “Dale’s attention to detail was appreciated when we did our interviews and as I would get rambling on he had the ability to reel me back in to get the important information about key players or individual performances that he caught from his perspective if he was in attendance. When I took over as president of the Hurricanes I trusted Dale to look after my contributions to his articles and the team’s image and reputation and appreciated his interpretation and his ability to ensure the accuracy of his reporting. The last few years with the Coaldale Copperheads and the University of Lethbridge Pronghorn Women’s Hockey Team it was clear we were pretty comfortable working together and I looked forward to talking to him following the games and I always asked to Dale to do his best to make me sound intelligent in his reporting. Not an easy task for sure…Dale was a great representative of the Lethbridge Herald; the sporting community of Lethbridge should be proud of the job well done.”
“Whether it is online or in print, Dale’s passion for community sport showed through his exceptional coverage at all hours of the day,” said Susan Eymann, executive director with the Lethbridge Sport Council. “He showed a sincere interest and curiosity for all sport and had a talent for making everyone feel at ease while being interviewed.”
After spending nearly three decades in the media business as a sports reporter, with nearly half of that time spent at the Lethbridge Herald, Woodard also earned the respect and admiration of his editors, publishers and colleagues in the local media scene:
“In all my years at the Herald I have never seen a sports reporter connect with the local community like Dale has, he stopped being the guy covering the story and became a team member to so many organizations,” said Brian Hancock, publisher of the Lethbridge Herald. “The outpouring of farewell messages from so many different groups is a testament to his deep roots in the community. When Dale announced on Twitter that he was leaving there was a reply that summed him up perfectly ‘Thanks so much for sharing our sports community for so many years. Of course your columns and tweets will be missed! However, it is your kindness that you showed to everyone you met that will be our true loss.’ Dale will be missed by many sports groups in the community but even more so by the people he worked beside. I wish him nothing but the best wherever life may take him, he is a class act.”
“In my years working with Dale I can honestly say he was the most devoted worker in the newsroom,” said Randy Jensen, former Herald city editor. “While his first passion was covering sports, he would jump in and cover any story he was assigned. Every story was important to him and he took a keen interest in every assignment. The people who are going to miss Dale the most are those involved in minor sports. He gave them more coverage than any daily paper in the country while not taking coverage away from major sports. And all this done by a one person staff. Dale is definitely going to be missed.”
“Dale is one of the hardest working reporters I know,” said Kaella Carr with CTV in a recent social media post. “He has his finger on the pulse of all sporting events and works hard to get everyone the coverage they deserve. I’ll miss our hockey road trips, press box banter, SNACKS, and reading the first line of his story ‘The…’.”
“During my time at the Herald, Dale was a huge asset to the newsroom,” said Nick Kuhl, former Herald city editor. “He loves CFL football and major event curling more than anyone, but it was his ability to channel that passion into his exceptional coverage of local sports that really stood out. He treated every Lethbridge Hurricanes game as if it was the Memorial Cup final. He gave a rightful spotlight to youth, high school and post-secondary sports. He earned trust and respect throughout the local sports community and that stood out in his coverage.”
“Dale is an absolute fixture of the sports scene here in southern Alberta,” said Garrett Simmons, former Herald city editor. “Everyone who has any involvement in local sports knows Dale. No matter the sport, Dale was willing and able to give it the coverage it deserved in the pages of The Herald. It was an absolute pleasure working alongside a man with an unrivalled dedication to local sports.”
“Although I only worked closely with Dale for just over a year, I quickly recognized the calibre of reporter I had on my hands,” said Trevor Busch, Herald city editor. “Far above and beyond the call of duty is pretty much his motto, and it is more than clear that commitment was greatly appreciated by those he covered. The Lethbridge Herald is indebted to Dale Woodard for his many years of dedication, and we wish him all the best in his future plans.”

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