The Weyburn Red Wings will be celebrating their 50th. Anniversary season during the SJHL’s 2010-11 hockey season.
With a coaching staff consisting of Dwight McMillan, Ron Rumball and Darcy Pindus the trio have a total of 92 years coaching experience under their collective belts.
Rumball has been with the team since it was the Jr.B Red Wings, which came from Lashburn.
The next two years after moving the club from Lasburn to Weyburn produced two Jr.B championships in a row, starting Weyburn’s illustrious hockey dynasty in Saskatchewan. “General Manager Ron Rumball proudly stated that with the dedication of many fine hockey scouts, managers, coaches, staffs and executives over the past 50 years have produced one of the finest places to play hockey in North America. We’ve traveled from Summerside P.E.I., Nanaimo B.C. and even chased to cup as far north as Flin Flon, Manitoba and destinations in between,” Rumball said.
The Wings have concluded one of their smallest but quality fall camps in quite some time according to Rumball. “We’ve had some of the highest caliper players come through our doors this fall, and it’s made it difficult for the scouting team and coaching staff to make their choices in five short days,” Rumball told This Week.
The G.M. said that the players are fast and a nice size for our brand of hockey and we’ve found quality players in all the positions we’ve been looking for.
With the practice and drill sessions being completed the coaches were looking forward to the annual Red & White game, which took place Monday afternoon in front of a couple hundred die-hard Red Wing fans. Many players and their parents traveled from as far away as Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Nashville, Tennessee, Montreal Quebec, Winnipeg and even as close as Estevan to try and claim a spot on the Wing’s roster for the 2010-11 season. The White team managed a slim margin win in a shoot-out as both the Red and White teams managed to knot the game up with a 5-5 tie due to some superb coaching from both benches.
“It’s time once again to lace-up our skates and get back to the business of Jr.”A”, Hockey Coach Dwight McMillan said late Monday afternoon after sitting with his coaching and scouting staff.
“You can feel the excitement building in the air,” McMillan said about the upcoming season. “The phones are starting to ring all day long from those interested in playing in Weyburn and for coaches from other teams looking for a certain player or skill set.”
The Red Wing staff said that they are all set and most of the inventory that is needed to run a Jr.”A” hockey club is in place, which includes hundreds of sticks and miles of tape and bandages to keep a team on its skates.
Coach McMillan reminisced about those who have graced the halls of the Red Wings dressing room over the years and fondly remembers those who have come to Weyburn to play hockey and have stayed to start and raise a family of their own. “We’ve seen many faces and characters come and go and each one builds the persona of the Wings family over the past 50 years,” McMillan said. While some of the faces and the names blur from year to year there are those McMillan can recall as if it were only yesterday. “Some of the players billeted to families in Weyburn are like family and continue to keep in contact over the years, which adds to the unique atmosphere of being part of a community run hockey team,” coach “Mac” said.
Co-coach Darcy Pindus is equally excited about getting this year’s team on the ice and getting started. Pindus who played for the Wings in 1980-82 seasons has 14 years of coaching under his belt loves this time of year.
“You can feel the excitement growing around the community, and pretty soon the arena will be packed with loyal Red Wing fans, who will be cheering on their favorite local hockey team,” Pindus said.
“It’s a great feeling to be part of this hockey organization and I’ll be happier when the team hits the ice for this historic season, Pindus told This Week.
Many local residents found their way back to the Crescent Point Place for the beginning of their yearly hockey fix on Monday, but are a bit concerned of the state of the complex, which is rumoured to be completed by the end of September.
Many season ticket holders feel the complex will not be finished in time due to the lack of construction going on, but as long as there is enough parking and Myrna’s cooking available for all, this will be a year to be remembered for the Weyburn Red Wing family and all those concerned.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)