It is good to see the six-foot-two, 200-pound Shubenacadie native back on the Bearcats blue line. In a preseason exhibition game during late August of last year, Anthony collided with an Amherst player and suffered a season-ending knee injury.
“All I managed was some light skating near the end of the 2013-14 season,” Anthony, 18, said. “By June and July of this year I felt fully recovered from the knee injury. I had to learn to trust it again. It did take some time for me to get confidence back in my knee. Everything was good in training camp and now I’m just focusing on the season.”
An outstanding fastpitch player, Anthony played shortstop and pitched during the summer with the junior East Hants Expos. Picked up by the Brookfield Elks, he joined the team for the recent Under-18 Men’s Fastpitch Nationals played in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Anthony is the youngest of four boys in a unique sports family.
“Growing up in a sports family was good,” Anthony said. “I always had older brothers to look up to when I was a young kid and that definitely helped me a lot.”
Recalling eating at the dinner table, Anthony said his family was always talking about sports.
“And I remember our whole family going to watch each of us play sports. Sometimes one parent would be going in one direction and the other parent would be heading to a game in a different direction. If one ball game or hockey game ended early there would be a race to watch the other guy play the last part of his game.”
Mathew Anthony, an assistant coach with AAA midget hockey’s Cole Harbour Wolf Pack, played several positions with East Hants Mastodons during the summer as they advanced to the Canadian Senior Men’s Fastpitch Championship in Charlottetown.
Luke, a former hockey player, now concentrates on rugby. Cody, a defenseman with the East Hants Penguins of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, has been outstanding in fastpitch ball. Cody pitched for Irma, Alberta, this past summer as they won the Canadian Junior Fastpitch Championship. In 2012, he played in the World Junior Fastpitch Championship in Argentina.
The boys’ father, Terry Anthony, starred for a number of Shubenacadie ball teams and played with the Brookfield Elks the 1980 Canadian Senior Men’s Fastball Championship. In recent years, Terry and his wife Jackie have been strong fixtures in coaching, managing and developing East Hants minor ball players.
Alex pointed out that his grandparents, Carl and Harriet Anthony, also played an important part.
“My grandparents were always big supporters of my brothers and I all through our sports,” Alex said. “They are definitely our biggest fans and we appreciate it for sure.”
Billeted by his uncle Larry Anthony, another sportsman and co-manager of the 1998 Allan Cup champion Truro TSN Bearcats, and Farida Gabbani, the graduate of Hants East Rural High School last year (honours with distinction) is taking business of science at Dalhousie Agriculture Campus while playing for the Bearcats.
“It’s important for anyone in sports to look after his education,” Alex said. “Education is important for the future. It’s tough at times balancing hockey and education but it’s something you learn to get used to.”
Alex has now turned his eye to the Bearcats’ matchup with the Pictou County Weeks Crushers tonight.
“Hopefully we’ll have a good crowd Saturday night when we play Pictou County,” he said. “They have a number of really skilled players but we’d like to be able to do what we have to, to pick up a win. It’s our first divisional game at home. We’re all looking forward to playing the Crushers.”
Opening face-off tonight at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre is 7 p.m.
NOTE: Lyle Carter’s sports column appears every Saturday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.