With the NHL Lockout deadline set for Saturday after a unanimous vote by the Board of governors approving such an action, hockey fans must ask themselves where they will get their fix this fall and winter and even into the spring. A majority of people will tune into the MLB players or the NFL season, and many others will simply find an alternative to sports such as a new sitcom or TV melodrama. Some will turn their focus to the American Hockey League and in Canada more attention will be put on junior hockey within the CHL.
However, I propose that people here in the Soo should show their support for many of our amateur athletes. While the dog days of summer left sports fans very little choice beyond some football, the Laird races and the occasional baseball game, the fall provides a smorgasbord of options for those who feel the need to fill their athletic appetite.
On the ice, we have the Soo Thunderbirds coming off their Dudley Hewitt appearance in 2011-2012 proving high quality Jr. A hockey. At the midget level there are the Soo North Stars, who will be hosting the 2013 Telus Cup here in Sault Ste. Marie in the fall and will be working hard throughout their GNML schedule in hopes of representing Northern Ontario at this event. As well, we are lucky enough to have the inaugural season for our minor midget program which will be hosting a tournament this weekend to kick off the 2012-2013 season. The minor midget level is where many players are one step away from being drafted into the Ontario Hockey League.
And of course lets not forget, fans always have the option of viewing Youth games through varying from the squirt level all the way up to the midget level in both house league and rep team levels. These teams can always use the fan support as well.
Meanwhile, while the Soo is often dominated by hockey, there are other options as well. The Sault Ste. Marie high school football schedule kicks off this weekend with the Senior games being held at Rocky Dipietro Field on Wednesday and Friday nights at 7pm and Saturday afternoons at 1pm. As well the girls basketball schedule will kick off this fall as well.
So while the billionaire owners and millionaire athletes continue to fight over, yes you guessed it, even more money, along with an abundance of other issues. I say that the citizens here in the Soo should focus on the many talented athletes that are within our own city this fall, working hard and practicing even harder and not being paid at all. Give these athletes our attention and support and I promise that you will not be disappointed.
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