The Vankleek Hill Cougars hockey club needs an immediate transfusion of new blood for its executive and board of directors, to guarantee the future of junior hockey action for the village. Mario Messier reluctantly accepted another term as president for the Vankleek Hill Cougars Junior Hockey Club, during the group’s annual general meeting last Thursday evening. The April 19 gathering was a small one, with just Messier and nine other people gathered around the table to review the financial report and other club business. Messier had planned to step down as club president but was persuaded to carry on for one more term because there was no one else available to take on the job. “I wanted to give it to somebody else,” Messier said during a later phone interview. “I’ve asked people and nobody ‘has time’. As if I had more time than they do.” Messier noted that the number of retur- ning veteran players for next season looks good. The financial situation for the club is strong. “We’re starting off the (2018-2019) sea- son with more money than we ever did,” Messier said. He added that the club will need to depend on both corporate sponsors and the annual June fundraiser golf tourna- ment to keep the account books in the black. &/#3&'r#3*&'4 VCI LINES UP FOR TRACK Both coaches for Vankleek Collegiate Institute’s track and field team expect to have a better idea of the school’s strength on the field, after the May 1 meet in Russell. “It’s like a litmus test,” said Coach Tomilyn Myre. She and co-coach Ken MacLeod confirmed 40 members of the team, following the pre-season tryouts covering all grade levels for high school track and field and almost every category of event. “The sprints are fairly popular,” Myre said, adding that there are a number of good prospects also for the javelin, shot put, and long jump events. – Gregg Chamberlain The all-day tournament will occupy both playing fields at the school. Final date for the event is not yet set but Tremblay expects it will be at the end of May so that it does not conflict with the Eastern Ultimate Frisbee players take to the air at Vankleek Hill Collegiate next month when the school hosts its annual inter- school championship tournament. “We usually get between six to eight schools competing,” said Dan Tremblay, VCI extracurricular sports coordinator and Ultimate Frisbee coach. GREGG CHAMBERLAIN

Le club de hockey des Cougars de Vankleek Hill a besoin d’une transfusion immédiate de sang neuf pour son exécutif et son conseil d’administration, afin de garantir l’avenir du hockey junior dans le village. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

Volunteer burnout The problem for the club is a shortage of volunteers to occupy the board of directors and executive positions and also help with pre-season fundraising, promotion, and spon- sorship signup efforts. Volunteer “burnout” is starting to become a worry with too few people available to do all of the behind-the- scenes work. “If we had 10 more people helping, it would not be that bad,” Messier said, about

(coming) year will be in jeopardy,” Messier said, regarding the lack of new volunteers to take on director and executive duties. “I’m not coming back (as president).” Anyone or any group interested in helping the VKH Cougars hockey club with its volunteer manpower situation can contact Messier at 514-603-0019 or jlammessier@

the shortage of volunteers. Last year, Michel Paquette stepped down as club vice-pres- ident. That post is still vacant. Paquette has been with the club as executive and board director for five years. Messier himself planned to step down as president after manning the post for two years. He did double-duty for the club during the past season as both club president and also volunteer trainer with the team. “To me, the future of the club after this




“I like playing baseball,” McRae said, who alternates between pitcher and centre field for the Warriors. “It’s a fun sport, but I’ve never had a team to play on. We tried (organizing) last year but didn’t get enough people to sign up.” This season has proven a different story with enough interest among students from grades 9 to 12 to let the school field a team in time for the spring season. “About half of our team are grade 9s,” McRae said. “The younger kids are pretty good at getting the ground balls in the infield.” “We have some strong pitchers and some very strong hitters,” said Coach Baker. She added that most of the pre-season training will be indoors because of ground conditions outside. All league games will take place at the Casselman municipal ball fields.

Ontario Secondary Schools Amateur Athlet- ics track-and-field championships. Many players on regional school Ultimate Frisbee teams are also involved in school track competition. Tremblay hopes to see the VCI Ultimate Frisbee Tournament enjoy expansion in the future. At present the tournament sees participation from various schools in the Prescott-Russell region. Tremblay has sent enquiries to schools in the Stormont- Dundas-Glengarry region about fielding teams to the VCI event.

“Play ball!” is the new catchphrase in sports at Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute this spring. After many years high school baseball is back home at VCI. School guidance counsellor Karen Baker is head coach for the new VCI Warriors var- sity team entry in the Prescott-Russell High School Baseball League. She has a dozen players, from grade 9 to 12, signed up and in pre-season training indoors for the start of league play next month. “I’m very optimistic,” Baker said. “I think we’re going to be great.” VCI hasn’t had a baseball team for several years. Baker credited Chase McRae, a senior at the school, as the driving force behind building interest in a team this year.

Les joueurs de frisbee ultime prennent l’air au Vankleek Hill Collegiate ce printemps quand l’école organise

Chase McRae, lanceur et voltigeur pour la nouvelle équipe de baseball de VCI Warriors, fait de la recherche informatique pendant une pause d’étude. McRae a mené le regain d’intérêt pour le baseball de compétition à son école. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

son quatrième tournoi annuel de championnat interscolaire en mai. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

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