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Sports Scene: Popular 80-year-old hangs up skates


It is called noon hockey and it's been ongoing at the Sportsplex in Brookfield for many years. Beginning around 12.45 p.m. on Fridays, a group of senior hockey players get together for a friendly game.

Allan Prest, Donnie Fisher, Wilfred Toole, Bruce Leck, Tim Fisher, Darcy Merryweather, Peter Sutherland, Danny Smith, Kevin Boates and Morris Clark have been some of the regulars.

But last Friday, things were about to change. As the players filed into the dressing room after their workout, the popular and well-liked Clark announced to his friends that he would be stepping away from hockey.

The 80-year-old Alton resident gave his reasons.

"For one thing there's a lot of difference in your balance when you get older. You are just not as steady on your skates. I fell hard a couple times recently, something kind of told me it was time to step back. The last thing I ever wanted was to be carried off the ice. It was definitely a hard decision to quit hockey."

Hockey friendships have been many for Clark.

"I've met so many great guys. We all play hard once we're out there and the competition has been great. I've run into some real good hockey players over the years, it has been a lot of fun."

It was at 10 years-of-age on an Alton pond that Clark played his first hockey.

"There were some pretty good hockey players at the time, guys like Gerry and Buck Miller and Floyd Stewart. After playing a lot of pond hockey, in later years we built an outdoor rink."

During the Truro Forum days of the 1950s, Clark played for the Hilden Owls of the Truro District Hockey League. It was on to the Colchester Legion Stadium in the 1960s and Clark enjoyed playing Billy MacIntyre Wednesday Afternoon Hockey for several seasons. He also played for the Cobequid Tidal Bores Old-Timers.

With the opening of he Sportsplex in Brookfield in the mid 1970s, Clark became one of the South Colchester District Hockey League's top scorers as a member of the Alton Flames.

"In those years I was getting ice time four days a week. The Sportsplex was really busy in the 70s, for extra ice-time we booked the ice for around six o'clock on Sunday mornings. Those were great days!"

A familiar local country-western singer and guitar player, Clark favours popular old-time music. Morris Clark and Friends play at special events as well as at nursing homes located in Brookfield, Middle Musquodoboit, Truro, Bible Hill and Debert.

As Morris continues entertaining audiences, his hockey friends will be pulling for him.

Young goaltenders impress

Last Saturday morning in Brookfield, a hustling atom C Elks team edged the Upham Brothers Contracting Bearcats, 3-1. Catching my eye was a stellar goaltending performance by Bearcats Nick Roy and Mitchell Cook.

"Both these goaltenders are really good to work with," Bearcats coach Joey Jordan said. "They share the work and basically take care of things themselves regarding rotation. Besides being good goaltenders, Nick and Mitchell are good sports."

Both goalies see plenty of shots and are adept at handling rebounds, the coach said.

Roy, 10, of Valley, a grade five student at Red Cliff Middle School, displayed a positive outlook as he commented on the game against Brookfield.

"Both Mitchell and I had a lot of shots, that made it really exciting. A good goalie should support his team and keep them in the game. This is my third year playing goal. I find it really fun. Hockey is a great game."

Cook, 11, of Harmony is also a grade five student at Red Cliff and has a noticeably good outlook.

"The goal I gave up, maybe I should have come out of the net a little more. This is my second year playing goal. I've been working on cutting down the angles and positioning my glove hand better. I've been going to a goalie camp, Finn Goalie Training Nova Scotia, in Bedford every second Sunday. Things are going pretty good. I really enjoy playing goal."

Roy and Cook were both outstanding Tuesday night in Tatamagouche leading Upham Brothers to a 3-1 win.

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

Allan Prest, Donnie Fisher, Wilfred Toole, Bruce Leck, Tim Fisher, Darcy Merryweather, Peter Sutherland, Danny Smith, Kevin Boates and Morris Clark have been some of the regulars.

But last Friday, things were about to change. As the players filed into the dressing room after their workout, the popular and well-liked Clark announced to his friends that he would be stepping away from hockey.

The 80-year-old Alton resident gave his reasons.

"For one thing there's a lot of difference in your balance when you get older. You are just not as steady on your skates. I fell hard a couple times recently, something kind of told me it was time to step back. The last thing I ever wanted was to be carried off the ice. It was definitely a hard decision to quit hockey."

Hockey friendships have been many for Clark.

"I've met so many great guys. We all play hard once we're out there and the competition has been great. I've run into some real good hockey players over the years, it has been a lot of fun."

It was at 10 years-of-age on an Alton pond that Clark played his first hockey.

"There were some pretty good hockey players at the time, guys like Gerry and Buck Miller and Floyd Stewart. After playing a lot of pond hockey, in later years we built an outdoor rink."

During the Truro Forum days of the 1950s, Clark played for the Hilden Owls of the Truro District Hockey League. It was on to the Colchester Legion Stadium in the 1960s and Clark enjoyed playing Billy MacIntyre Wednesday Afternoon Hockey for several seasons. He also played for the Cobequid Tidal Bores Old-Timers.

With the opening of he Sportsplex in Brookfield in the mid 1970s, Clark became one of the South Colchester District Hockey League's top scorers as a member of the Alton Flames.

"In those years I was getting ice time four days a week. The Sportsplex was really busy in the 70s, for extra ice-time we booked the ice for around six o'clock on Sunday mornings. Those were great days!"

A familiar local country-western singer and guitar player, Clark favours popular old-time music. Morris Clark and Friends play at special events as well as at nursing homes located in Brookfield, Middle Musquodoboit, Truro, Bible Hill and Debert.

As Morris continues entertaining audiences, his hockey friends will be pulling for him.

Young goaltenders impress

Last Saturday morning in Brookfield, a hustling atom C Elks team edged the Upham Brothers Contracting Bearcats, 3-1. Catching my eye was a stellar goaltending performance by Bearcats Nick Roy and Mitchell Cook.

"Both these goaltenders are really good to work with," Bearcats coach Joey Jordan said. "They share the work and basically take care of things themselves regarding rotation. Besides being good goaltenders, Nick and Mitchell are good sports."

Both goalies see plenty of shots and are adept at handling rebounds, the coach said.

Roy, 10, of Valley, a grade five student at Red Cliff Middle School, displayed a positive outlook as he commented on the game against Brookfield.

"Both Mitchell and I had a lot of shots, that made it really exciting. A good goalie should support his team and keep them in the game. This is my third year playing goal. I find it really fun. Hockey is a great game."

Cook, 11, of Harmony is also a grade five student at Red Cliff and has a noticeably good outlook.

"The goal I gave up, maybe I should have come out of the net a little more. This is my second year playing goal. I've been working on cutting down the angles and positioning my glove hand better. I've been going to a goalie camp, Finn Goalie Training Nova Scotia, in Bedford every second Sunday. Things are going pretty good. I really enjoy playing goal."

Roy and Cook were both outstanding Tuesday night in Tatamagouche leading Upham Brothers to a 3-1 win.

Note: 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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