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Sports with Patrick Townes, Springwater and area

Diverse group of kids playing soccer.

If you are looking for something to watch at home, go no further than the “All or Nothing” series on Prime Video. Television cameras followed the Toronto Maple Leafs last season when they were ousted from the playoffs by the Montreal Canadiens. Interestingly enough, every time the two teams have met in the playoffs, each time the winner of that series has made it to a Stanley Cup final.

The episodes cover everything from the dressing room, head office, to the players’ homes. The producers did a fantastic job portraying the players’ lives at and away from the rink. The outcome of following these highly talented athletes leaves the viewer with the reassurance that they are human.  They live under extraordinary pressure to succeed and win. And, as we know, that does not always happen.

A team is made up of much more than just players. I have always had the opinion that coaching was not an important part of a team. If you have a talented team they should win — but there is game plan, and player management has to go beyond the scenes, and it is extremely difficult to get an understanding of how a coach is performing by just looking at him on the bench or in interviews. A team is built upon coaches, management, doctors and personnel that help the players and the team to stay organized, as well as perform.

After games, players are continuously getting treated by medical staff or working on improving their skating with a specific coach to fine tunes their skills. A team operates like a family and everyone cares for one another. They do! Hockey is a sport where it is evident when someone wrongs a player, there is usually retribution around the corner. When John Tavares was hurt in the playoffs the team felt like something needed to be done. I know I was speechless watching on television. This show demonstrates how the players were truly affected by losing their captain. It also shines a light on life outside of hockey, and how much management cares for a player and his family.

Mitch Marner was walking around Toronto and passed a youngster playing in their driveway who was wearing his jersey. I am sure these players know how much they are respected and idolized by fans, particularly young fans. They should take pride in what they mean for a community, especially now when those affected by Covid-19 rely on such things as watching hockey to escape loneliness or boredom.

Look at Zach Bogosian talking to his daughter and explaining why he could not make it to her birthday party, or read the emotion of Jack Campbell after games and at the end of the season. Admittedly, I was so furious when their season came to an end last year, but these players care and they do try their best. They are human — just like the rest of us. Go Leafs Go.

The Simcoe Rural Fastball League season has come to an end with an exciting final series. The Vasey Countrymen were victorious over the Wyevale Tribe by a margin of 2-1 in the series. The pitching of Mike Kelly propelled the Tribe into the finals against the Countrymen, who relied on their pitching staff consisting of Brad Robinson and Kirk Santala. The series was back and forth and ended fittingly in a close game. Wyevale was led offensively by first baseman Matt Tjart and Vasey’s veterans, including the Robinson brothers (Brad and Jamie), had big hits for their squad. Last season was cancelled by Covid-19 and the league organized a shortened 10-game season this year. I for one was not anxious to play this season but once we stepped back on that field the baseball blood began to pump again. On behalf of the league, thank you to the players, umpires and the fans. It has been a long time since fans were afforded the opportunity to visit the ball park on a Monday or Thursday night. There was no better feeling than being back on the field and seeing everyone at the ballpark.

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