Are you enjoying the sports in Niagara?
By SportsXpress Team
As this piece is being written Niagara is currently the home of two playoff teams that are competing in national championship bids. There has never been a time in the history of Niagara where the opportunity to go to both hockey and basketball playoffs games was a possibility. Throw in a great venue as big and exciting as the Meridian Centre and you have all the ingredients you need to create some pretty cool moments. The Niagara Ice Dog’s have recently swept the Eastern division champ Kingston Frontenac’s in a win that sent a serious message. Getting underway tonight the Dogs faceoff against a strong Barrie Colts team in the Eastern Finals! Early next month, the expansion Niagara River Lions will host their first ever professional basketball playoff game. The River Lions have had an up and down season with some great highs and disappointing lows. The team looks to go out on a high as they have seen steady improvement under new head coach Grace Lokole. Add on recent events like the IIHF Under 18 Women’s World Championships setting record attendance records, and the Harlem Globe Trotters spinning their magic on the hard-court, and the Meridian Centre is giving Niagara residents the opportunity to see things that were never possible before.
Along with these bigger scale events in West Niagara there have been great local hockey games to watch, the Grimsby bantam Kings took home the OHF title, and a juvenile team from Lincoln snagged an OMHA Championship, the first in their new arena. And let’s not forget Niagara North AAA standout Adam McMaster who went 13th overall to the North Bay Battalion in this year’s OHL draft.
Local football players from all over Niagara are starting to get recognized on the provincial scale, with 4 players from Saint Michael’s getting recruited by Waterloo University for this upcoming season. There were also 7 players from the Niagara Spears that participated in the annual Team Ontario Black vs. Red game in Guelph. Not to be outdone the younger players from the Football Niagara Program are gearing up for another great season. Teams in the league span from Fort Erie to West Niagara. Helping to produce high level players that is proving Niagara is a hotbed for producing football talent.
With some discussion starting about a new arena on campus for Brock University, it can only be speculated that there will be another addition to the sports landscape here in Niagara. By working together to create important partnerships our region will grow and be a better place to live. It is exciting to think about Niagara and were it will be in 5 or 10 years. With the support of the entire region Niagara has a very powerful population of over 400 000 people. With a lot of wineries and country side the rural landscape of Niagara can sometimes separate the 12 municipalities through distance. That distance can be made smaller through the power of sport, it is amazing to see what can happen when the population comes together, creating a magical atmosphere and long lasting memories. Only accomplished by dedicated fans and athletes who want to create that atmosphere. The possibilities are endless.
So make sure you support our Niagara teams as they enter into the most important part of their seasons. In supporting we help to make our teams successful and that can only make for better opportunities in the future. Let’s make Niagara proud, let’s see our athletes bring home some more hardware!