Reid Stumpf of the 100 Mile House Wranglers makes an attempt to score a goal against Summerland Steam goalie Colton Macaulay. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Reid Stumpf of the 100 Mile House Wranglers makes an attempt to score a goal against Summerland Steam goalie Colton Macaulay. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

100 Mile Wranglers net another fan

Patrick Davies’ weekly Paper Quips column

I’ve never much been one for organized sports.

When my parents signed me up for tee-ball, they watched from the stands as I spent more time picking dandelions than playing outfield. When my dad took me to the Edmonton Eskimo games I would bring a comic book to read. Asterix and Obelix was a favourite.

This trend has more or less been the same throughout my life. I’ve always been more interested in art, acting, reading and gaming than sports. The closest I have come to enjoying team play is Bloodbowl, a fantasy video football game where the teams – comprised of Orcs, elves and dwarves – are more involved in fistfights than running the ball.

But that seems to be changing, thanks to the 100 Mile House Wranglers.

Although I’m there for work, and I do listen to music while I watch and take pictures of the game, I’ve found myself actually enjoying it. The intense energy of the game, the cowbells and the enthusiasm of the fans is exciting. My only complaint is the intensity of the game has resulted in the plexiglass being scuffed, making it challenging at times to get a good shot.

This is especially infuriating when the Wranglers play like they did last Friday, devastating the Summerland Steam. That game showed me what the Wranglers could be: an unstoppable force that dominates the ice. Considering the team is made up of junior underdogs this year, such potential is heartwarming and I can’t wait to see what they become.

There’s also the social aspect of the game. Even with limited capacity due to the pandemic these games regularly draw around 300 people a night. In a town like 100 Mile House, it’s inevitable that you’ll run into someone you know. There’s something nice about being approached during a game and asked about how life is going. It makes a guy feel welcomed and appreciated.

I’m still not a diehard sports fan and won’t be tuning in to the Vancouver Canucks or the Edmonton Oilers, but the 100 Mile House Wranglers can definitely count me as a fan. After all, minor league hockey is where these young men prove themselves for the big leagues and they really do play their hearts out. As someone who is also chasing his passion, I can more than respect that.

I look forward to watching my team parade down Wrangler Way with the Keystone Cup one day.



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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