There are a few dog days of summer left, but, make no mistake, the fall frenzy for sports fans is about to unfold.
I have always looked forward to the fall. It means one thing — nearly non-stop sports action across our community.
It is even crazier this year. To be honest, I don’t know where to begin. (Writer’s disclaimer: I will touch on numerous sports, but not all since I have a word limit.)
The Laurentian University men’s and women’s hockey teams finally begin their OUA existence in a regular season after many years of waiting. This is significant and expectations are sky-high for both programs.
In case you didn’t realize, OUA hockey is darn good hockey. The men’s teams feature former OHL players, which makes the skill level a treat to watch. The women’s teams are stacked with top players from the province and across the country. The teams play at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex on weekends and it will be good bang for the puck.
Be sure to check out games at Laurentian University and Cambrian College and College Boreal. There is elite level basketball, soccer, volleyball, swimming, lacrosse, you name it to see. The university and college games are genuine entertainment. These young athletes bust their guts out. I have never regretted going to a post secondary game in this city.
The biggest sports entity in the city also ignites in the fall as the high school scene comes into focus. I’ve said it before and I will say it again — high school sports in Sudbury is some of the best you will see.
There is something for everyone. Football (senior and for the first time since 1984 junior), girls’ basketball and flag football, boys’ volleyball, junior boys’ soccer, cross-country running and golf get the high school sports season kicked off with a bang.
Sudbury is fortunate to have another provincial high school (OFSAA) championship being contested in our boundaries this year. In the past few years, Sudbury has been the site for OFSAA wrestling, track and field and soccer.
This year, the 2013 OFSAA cross-country championship will be decided at Laurentian University on Nov. 2. If you’re a fan of running sports, I don’t even have to say this, but take the day off and go watch the best young runners in Ontario go head-to-head.
A big presence in town are the Sudbury Wolves and they begin another campaign to bring the city a Memorial Cup title. Is this the year the Wolves do it? I don’t know, but they have, on paper, a decent-looking club.
The journey to the Memorial Cup could be easier than it ever has been as London hosts and if they win the Western Conference in the playoffs, the Eastern Conference champ gets a ticket to the big dance of the CHL. Sudbury should be all-in this season in an attempt to win the east.
Plenty of club hockey, at all levels, also ramps up. In the NOJHL, the Sudbury Nickel Barons and Espanola Rivermen will give fans an honest effort every game. In the GNML, it is AAA midget hockey at its finest as the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves and Nickel City Sons vie for the title and a shot at the Telus Cup.
I’ve just danced around the tip of the fall sports iceberg in Sudbury. There is much more to see. It’s what makes this city a great sports town.
Scott Haddow has been writing about sports in Greater Sudbury for the past 10 years.