Tales from the Doug-Out: August 14th, 2018
The dog days of summer are here. Most of our ball players are done for the summer having finished their provincials and gone on to having some fun with the few weeks of holidays that are left before school, football and hockey starts. But not so for Dustyn ‘Dust Pan’ Pankiw, who played with the Elk Point Sox up until two years ago.
He was quite the all-star when he played here and won the MVP at the Bantam provincial finals in 2016, the last year he played for us. Pitching and playing centerfield were his strongest positions at the time, although I wouldn’t have been afraid to play him anywhere in the field.
Hitting is his strongest asset by far. Batting third in our line, Dusty was always able to smack the ball safely, drive in some runs and get on base. Since he left here, he has been playing at the AAA Midget level for the last two years in St. Albert for the Cardinals. He is no longer a pitcher and plays strictly centerfield. He made the team better I’m sure because of his hitting skills.
Two weeks ago his team hosted and won the AAA Tier 1 champion, defeating their rivals and last years provincial champions Parkland in the semi-finals, then the Calgary Dino’s in the final, giving them the right to go to the Nationals being held this coming weekend in Fort McMurray.
The Nor-West Midget AAA League is the most elite league in Alberta. This coming weekend the best midget players in all of Canada will be up in Fort Mac, plus a lot of college scouts. Some of the players have already committed to playing at a college somewhere and in fact a few of them are already on the road south before this weekend. After this weekend some of these players will be given the opportunity to play in a college ball. Dust Pan heading into grade 12, his last year of high school could be one of those guys one day.
Speaking of scholarships. This young man may be getting a scholarship one day too down in the U.S.A. in track and field. At the Western Track and Field competition held two weeks ago our very own Parker ‘Wild Thing’ Allen threw a person best of 50 meters in the Javelin receiving the silver medal. He also received a silver in the hammer throw with another personal best and finished forth in the discus. This past weekend Wild Thing competed in the Nationals in Manitoba throwing a person best in the hammer and another personal best in the javelin. It wasn’t good enough to receive a medal, but just think about the competition he would be up against.
How many kids do you know who have that kind of commitment to train hard enough to even get to go to a National event in a sport that doesn’t have all the glory of some of our other sports?
And now for the K.A. Campbell quote of the week. ” Usually when I wielded a hockey stick, it meant somebody was going to get hurt. ” – Stan Mikita – Former Chicago Black Hawk who recently passed away.