The year in sports – July to December

The Chronicle continues its look back at the year in sports, highlighting stories from July to December.

Flag football is just one of the great sports the Chronicle has covered in the past year.

Flag football is just one of the great sports the Chronicle has covered in the past year.

July was a big month in baseball, as the Ladysmith Cannons Mosquitos and Mid-Island midget Mustangs blasted their way to provincials.

Trail users in Chemainus got a step ahead as their own section of the Cowichan Valley Trail officially opened to the public.

The Mid-Island Highlanders finished the year in sixth place, not a bad placing for the team’s first season in the Pacific Coast Soccer League premier mens division.

The Mount Brenton Golf Course greens got a facelift, helping with better drainage and improving the grass roots system.

We started August with a splash, telling the story of Brian Reiber and his bid to be the bathtub race champion, as well as other community members such as Cody Drzewiecki and Stefan Shulson. We also learned about pickleball and the growth of the sport in Ladysmith.

Meanwhile, the Kinsmen and local First Nations looked at ways to renovate their ball hockey court on Church Road, and warmblood horses underwent the annual Oldenburg inspection out in Yellowpoint.

The logger sports saw fabulous attendance during Ladysmith Days and provided plenty of entertainment for the cheering crowds.

Sixty lady golfers came out Aug. 20 and 21 for the annual ladies golf tournament. Melanie Iverson was the talk of the tournament after her hole-in-one shot on Hole 11.

September began with a hope and a dream, as local young horseback rider Jessica Heikes, 17, shared her plans to become one of the top riders in the world in showmanship with her two-year-old quarter horse gelding Too Good For Words.

The annual Mount Brenton men’s amateur golf tournament drew in a whopping 190 golfers while raising money for good causes like the Pacific Parkinsons Research Institute and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

In football, the Ladysmith Steelers pee wee team dominated on the field, while the Jr. Bantams brought home mixed results.

The Chronicle reported that local grand master Kim Teh was inducted into the official Taekwondo Hall of Fame for his participation in the 1973 world championships.

Local hockey player Matt Grant was considering a new career with the Cowichan Valley Capitals, while 25-year-old Katie Hooper reflected on the 7,550-kilometre bike ride across Canada from which she had just returned.

A sunny day of playing golf netted $21,000w in funds for the Ladysmith and Chemainus Rotary clubs during the first annual joint club fundraiser golf tournament at the Mount Brenton Golf Course.

Ladysmith junior girls volleyball team members began warming up their skills for the district finals Oct. 28 and 29.

The Chronicle reported that local cycliststs Shawn O’Toole and Michelle Steel navigated their way to a second-place finish at the MOMAR race in Cumberland.

October marked a momentous occasion for members of the Stz’uminus First Nation at the opening of the Gilbert Frenchy Hockey Field on Church Road. The project was a partnership between the Winter Hawks boys and girls hockey team and the Ladysmith Kinsmen.

Soccer stars dominated the remainder of the month, as Ladysmith and Cedar U15 girls soccer teams battled it out for first place in the Mid-Isle Soccer Association. And local soccer star Chris Arnett headed to Kelowna for provincial soccer action with the Vancouver Island University Mariners, winning first place and moving on to the Nationals in Quebec in November, where the Mariners defended their national title with a bronze finish.

Transfer Beach was transformed into a cyclocross dream course for the sixth leg of the Cross the Rock series on Oct. 30. Cyclists of all ages came out to participate in the event, encountering everything from sand and logs to slippery mud.

In November, all eyes were on the water in Ladysmith, as 12-year-old Maria de Leeuw broke the national breastroke record for her age group in the 50m category, and the Ladysmith Orcas Swim Club improved their performances, with swimmers like Darby Rae, Faith Knelson and Conrad Carlson making waves at swim meets across the Island.

The LSS senior girls volleyed their way into the Island championships and earned themselves a spot in the final four.

The highlight of sports in Ladysmith came Nov. 27 during the annual Cinnamon Bun Fun Run. Not only did hundreds of local and area residents come out to get fit on the five- and 10-kilometre courses, but approximately 2,900 lbs. of food and more than $2,500 was donated to the Ladysmith Food Bank as well.

In December, we saw more soccer action and learned about pigeon racing and the local society dedicated to the breed and sport. Members of the Fuller Lake Skating Club strutted their stuff at the annual Skate with Santa, and local basketball teams began warming up for the season.

Here’s to more spectacular seasons of sports in 2012.