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SPORTS SCENE – By Lyle Carter: CEC football players university bound

Tyler Ball, left, and Bryson Fitzpatrick look forward to playing university football next fall at ST FX and Mount A respectively.
Tyler Ball, left, and Bryson Fitzpatrick look forward to playing university football next fall at ST FX and Mount A respectively.

Tyler Ball and Bryson Fitzpatrick will be taking important steps this fall as they move up to university football.

Both are Grade 12 students at Cobequid Educational Centre and three-year players with the Cougars.

As is the case of their teammate, quarterback Dustin Pettigrew, who’s joining Acadia Axemen, Ball, a defensive back and Fitzpatrick, a tight end, are excited for the opportunity to play university football.

“There’s a reason so many CEC players are going on to play university football,” Ball, 18, of Truro, said. “It’s thanks to the Cougars amazing coaching staff. They are some of the smartest football minds I have encountered. These coaches are so dedicated on and off the field in helping us become better players and better people. Dustin (Pettigrew) and I began football together when we were seven years of age – having the teammates I have had throughout my high school career, they have been so competitive, they have been great teammates and role models.”

While Ball heads to Saint Francis Xavier University, Fitzpatrick is thrilled to be joining Mount Allison Mounties.  

“We play Dustin and Acadia the first game of the season in August,” Fitzpatrick, 17, of Bible Hill, said. “Dustin has been my quarterback ever since I started playing football in Grade 10. Everything I’ve been able to do on the field in football, I give Dustin credit for. He’s always been there helping  me train, every day at practice he gave me the ball. To get to where I am in football, I give Dustin a lot of the credit. And, going against someone as good as Tyler every day, he has really helped my skills to progress. These two guys got me to where I’m at to try university level football.”

For Ball, 2016 proved to be a big year in high school football. He was both a Nova Scotia Conference all-star and the conference’s special teams player of the year. For the past two seasons, Ball also starred for U18 Team Nova Scotia.

“There was a point when I didn’t really know if I would be recruited,” Fitzpatrick said. “It was a real blessing to sign with Mount A. To get an offer and to play at the next level, I’m absolutely thankful. I’ve had no real major honours over the years, but that’s no big deal to me. I know my teammates and coaches realized I came out every single game and at practices and worked my hardest.

“The biggest thing with the Cougars that I was awarded was being asked to be the guy who kind of pumps everyone up. I tried to motivate my teammates every game – we had this chant ‘all day, every day,’ this got everyone doing their thing. We hit hard and we played hard.”

Fitzpatrick will pursue a bachelor of arts in sociology at Mount A and Ball will take business at ST FX.

* * *

The Amherst Ramblers and Truro Bearcats Maritime Hockey League playoff series is providing some great hockey.

With Amherst’s 3-0 win in Truro Wednesday night, the Bearcats lead in the best of seven stands at two games to one.

Game 3 remained scoreless for more than 55 minutes Wednesday night as goaltenders Daryl MacCallum and Jason Rioux took turns making miraculous saves.

Defenceman Dawson Grenier’s marker at the 15:22 mark of the third period proved to be the winner for the Ramblers. Game 4 is tonight at Amherst Stadium, quite a number of Truro fans are expected to make the trip.

* * * *

A harness racing card at Yonkers Raceway in New York tonight has the interest of local race fans. Wakizashi Hanover, whose owners include local connections Bruce Kennedy, Wayne Burley and

Percy Bonnell, races another leg of the rich George Levi Series.

Wakizashi, a five-year-old, who has finished fourth, second and third in legs to date, paced his last mile in 151.4 and was only beaten by a neck.

With the final to go for more than $600,000,  Wakizashi Hanover is in contention.

Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition event coordinator Kelly Maceachen commented.

 “Yes, locally owned Wakizashi continues to race extremely well among some of the world’s best

aged horses. He’s continuing his challenge to make it to the lucrative final.”

Race fans can view Saturday night’s race at Truro Raceway. The entire Yonkers race card will be simulcast, beginning at 8:10 p.m.

Lyle Carter’s sports column appears Saturdays in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902-673-2857.

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