The Bantam C Provincial Championship held here last weekend was a great testimonial to how the game is played is what really matters.
Sunday, the Renegades lost the final game against rival Ponoka 2-1, but the team put forth its best effort, both on and off the ice, and the fans who filled the bleachers were, indeed, proud of the effort put forth by the young players.
The Provincials held March 13 to 16 was a class act from start to finish with Rimbey’s won Bantam Renegades making it to the gold medal game.
Fans who crowded into the arena for the opening ceremonies of the tournament were not disappointed.
Mayor Rick Pankiw, the master of ceremonies for the event, said hockey requires teamwork, hard work, dedication and a passion for practicing early in the morning. He gave credit to all volunteers involved in making the weekend possible.
“Organizing any tournament is a very time consuming endeavor,” he said.
During the ceremonies Pankiw presented tournament chairperson Stacey Johnson with a picture and other memorabilia.
Rimbey Minor Hockey representative, Kent Beagle and Hockey Alberta Zone 4 Minor Council Chair, Sherry Haarstad also spoke during the opening ceremonies.
“When I heard Rimbey was awarded the Provincials I said ‘dibs on that’ and I knew they would do a bang up first rate job,” said Haarstad.
Kim Siebold from Investors Group also spoke.
The presentation of flags during the ceremonies was carried out by Jayda Schatschneider (Canada Flag), Keely Park (Provincial Flag), Keelie Beierbach (Renegades Flag), and Shelby Lane (Town of Rimbey Flag).
O’Canada was sung by Cayley Shantz.
Following the speeches, players from each of the teams represented at the Provincials marched on the ice carrying their team’s banner. A light show entertained both players and fans.
Following the tournament, Johnson said she was overwhelmed to see the fans packing the stands.
“I feel it was a huge success,’ she said.
During the tournament players from each team were given goodie bags and many businesses hung jerseys in their windows to welcome the visitors.
The extra acts of kindness such as the dad who bought pizza for the Renegades and also for the team they were playing against was enough to put Rimbey on the map as a place of hospitality and friendliness.
“We had a very committed host committee and we all worked hard, but everybody helped pull it off. In the end it was all about the kids,” said Johnson.
Teams who competed in the Bantam C Provincial Championship were Rimbey Renegades, High Prairie Thunder, Westlock Warriors, Okotoks Oilers, Mallaig Monarchs, Ponoka Moose Bantams, Kneehill Chiefs and Castor Cyclones.