Gerry Hale, left, and Jake Borden will be among a group of individuals being honoured this weekend as the Truro Minor Football Association celebrates 50 years. Both men currently coach the Truro Freightliners bantam team and have been involved in minor football for many years in various capacities. Joey Smith - Truro Daily News
TRURO – Scott Annand vividly remembers his introduction to minor football.
“I was dragged out to try out for the Truro Blue Bombers with all my friends, and I was sent home because I didn’t weigh enough,” smiled Annand, speaking of that initial experience more than 40 years ago. “Back in 1970 they had a weight restriction minimum – you had to weigh 70 pounds or more … so that was a lonely, lonely fall for me because hockey didn’t quite start back then and all my friends were playing minor football.”
The following year, the weight restriction was lifted and Annand earned a spot on the Blue Bombers as a tailback. He helped the team reach the provincial final that season, and a year later, was a member of the first provincial minor football championship team under coach Archie Robertson.
It was during those grassroots years that Annand developed a passion for the game that still shines through today. The 50-year-old Truro resident is well known as a community football leader for not only his coaching accomplishments, but also for taking the lead on various football-related projects in the region.
This weekend, Annand will be among a group of individuals being honoured by the Truro Minor Football Association during Touchdown 50 celebrations at the TAAC Grounds.
The event, which begins with a dinner tonight at the TAAC Grounds clubhouse and continues Saturday during minor football games, honours individuals who helped shape the association during the past 50 years, including founders, builders, officials, coaches and players.
“I think it’s one of the highest recognitions you can get,” said Annand, the head coach of the CEC Cougars high school team.
“It’s such a unique celebration because we’re talking about founders, builders, and of course, athletes who went on to do something special based on their initial grassroots of playing Truro minor football.”
One of those players is Salmon River’s Craig Leger. The 23-year-old played five years of minor football in Truro before starring as a running back at the high school (CEC) and university (Saint Mary’s) levels.
“It was (coaches) Anthony Purdy and Steve Fulton, they got me into playing and I really enjoyed it,” Leger said from his home this week in Texas. “At the time, I was playing minor hockey but once I started playing football I stuck to that and I found it a lot more enjoyable.
“The Truro minor football program is a great program to be in,” he added. “They have a lot of support from the community, a lot of the parents help out and a lot of it has to do with the coaches, too. They supported me through Blue Bombers all the way until I finished my university career.”
Touchdown 50 will be a special celebration for Truro brothers Don and Scott Cameron, who will be honoured along with their late father, Brick, for their longtime involvement.
“It’s nice to see I’m going to be named with some of the builders that I looked up to and was coached by, including my father,” said Scott, 46. “It’s certainly nice to be included with him and my brother. Football’s been a huge part of our family life.”