May 26th, 2020

Until they meet again

By Kuhl, Nick on June 12, 2019.

This week’s ‘High School Notebook’ column by Dave Wells

The 2018-19 season just wrapped up on the weekend. Unquestionably many lifetime memories were forged for and by athletes, coaches, support staff, administrators, family and just plain fans. Wonderful.

I truly believe school athletics are an overwhelmingly positive contributor to this area. One positive that I think is often overlooked is the price-point for school versus community sports involvement.

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The 2019-20 Alberta Schools Athletic Association campaign has already begun. Really.

Golf, cross country, football and volleyball official practice seasons of play are on right now.

After the summer break, football teams can return to practice Aug. 16. First games are teed-up for Aug. 23.

There’s been a refinement in the ASAA ruling on volleyball team start dates this time around. Now teams can have official practices from the time teachers report to duty. I know that’s as early as Aug. 26 in this area. Hopefully, at least from a league administrator point-of-view, most volleyball programs take advantage of the last week of August to make sure how many teams they will offer once matches are served in early September.

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2019-20 shapes up as the busiest season of South Zone-hosted ASAA provincial championship action that I can ever recall. I would imagine it may be the fullest calendar for any zone. And it may not even be close. Wow.

– Cross Country – hosted by Dunmore Eagle Butte, in Medicine Hat, Oct. 19.

– Football – Alberta Bowl (all five category title tilts) hosted by the Southern Alberta High School Football League, in Raymond, Nov. 22-23.

– Volleyball – Bow Island Senator Gershaw host 1A Girls and Boys, Immanuel Christian host 2A Boys, Magrath host 3A Boys, Nov. 21-23.

– Curling – LCI hosts at the Lethbridge Curling Club, March 5-7.

– Basketball – Bow Island Senator Gershaw host 1A Girls, Southern Alberta Interscholastic Administrative Council hosts 4A Girls and Boys (at multiple area gyms), March 19-21.

– Badminton – in Medicine Hat, April 17.

– Track and Field – in Medicine Hat, June 5-6.

Why so many ASAA showdowns down south?

Well, some factors include dedicated volunteers and excellent facilities. A dedicated fan base certainly plays a massive part, too.

WELLSIE’S WORLD – Many heartfelt thanks to those who have expressed well-wishes on my now imminent departure from the Southern Alberta Interscholastic Administrative Council activities co-ordinator post, which I took on in 2001. Heck, there have been copious gifts and social acknowledgements that have left me verklempt. In fact, my initial work in local secondary school sports administration was a near five-year tenure as Lethbridge School District No. 51 sports organizer in the mid-late 1980s. There’s no doubt trying to help run area secondary school sports has been a central theme in my life. Having said all that, I do hope that this juncture is not a “retirement” for me in any way, shape or form. I’d like to make this perfectly clear: As long as I’m healthy and of sound mind I will be looking for interesting work challenges. In a perfect world, at least initially, they’d largely involve high-level basketball and/or travel. Time will tell … Time will also tell whether this is my last piece in this publication. By my rough estimate, although never a sports staffer (only worked full-time at the paper on city-side for less than three months in 1983-84) I authored about 1,500 columns and 6,000 stories all-told for The Herald and sister weeklies, beginning in 1982. In looking back I recently realized my connection to The Herald sports department goes much deeper than that. I didn’t know how to read when moving here just before the start of Grade 1 in the summer of 1964. My sports-loving mom Mona found an apartment perhaps 200 yards from The Herald. She became a subscriber. I can’t say for sure, but I imagine I largely learned to read through trying to glean sports knowledge from these pages. Time well spent.

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