Has there ever been a local athlete who played senior baseball for the Truro Bearcats in the summer and junior A hockey for the other Bearcats in the winter?
I think I may have found such a prospect this past week.
Mathew Scullion and his teammates recently completed their baseball season with the Truro Bearcats, an under-11 Tier 1 team. Playing in the Nova Scotia championship in Kennetcook, although not the tournament winners, the Bearcats finished with a very good 2-1 record in round-robin play.
Scullion, who plays both third base and first base, was up for talking baseball.
“We played decent,” Scullion, 10, of North River, said. “We had a bit of trouble hitting in the first game; after that we won two in a row. The team spirit was good, we made a good showing, every player gave it his best. But, in the end, Yarmouth Gateways won the championship.”
Playing his first organized ball in North River, Scullion started out playing fastpitch. This past season was his third year in baseball.
“There were a few things that attracted me to baseball,” he said. “I enjoy being outside, I like being active and I love lots of things about playing baseball. We have fun, my Bearcats teammates and I. We like competing against other teams and doing our best. Looking to the future, maybe next season I’ll try fastpitch ball as well. Some players play both, I’d like to give it a try.”
Scullion plays hockey in the winter – a defenceman in the Truro & Area Minor Hockey Association.
“I played last season with Truro Bearcats in the house league in atom C. I kind of played for the Bearcats both seasons.”
Scullion has been playing organized hockey for five years.
“Hockey is a good, fast game on ice; I enjoy playing defence and breaking up plays, I also like scoring a few goals. If I had a choice of making the big league in sports, I think I’d like to play baseball. I like the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees. I’d play with either one.”
Although baseball appears to be his number one sport, Scullion was happy to comment on NHL hockey.
“My favourite team used to be Montreal Canadiens because of Carey Price and P.K. Subban. I also like Chicago Black Hawks, they have a great player, Patrick Kane, I like his dangles.”
A Grade 5 student, Scullion attends North River Elementary School. He has a sister, Savanna, 12; his mother is Amanda and his father is Jamie.
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In 1997-98, the Truro TSN Bearcats won the Allan Cup. The same year saw the team’s owner,
Stu Rath, enter a second team in the Maritime Hockey League.
The Truro Bearcats finished third in the Bent Division their first season. In the first playoff round the local junior A club defeated Antigonish Bulldogs. The division final against Jim
Bottomley’s Dartmouth Oland Exports went the full seven games, the final game took three overtime periods with Dartmouth getting the close verdict.
It was an exciting start for junior hockey, coach/general manager Steve Crowell’s first-year Bearcats earned a lot of respect around the league. Commenting further on a
season 22 years back, the coach of the Summerside Western Capitals that same season
was the guy who nearly pulled off an NHL miracle last year. Behind the Vegas Golden Knights
bench was MHL coaching graduate Gerard “Turk” Gallant.
The 2002-03 season was Shawn Evans’s first full season as coach/general manager of the Bearcats. Evans and his coaching staff have been nothing short of outstanding over the
the years. Young hockey players have stepped up to the next level with Maritime Hockey League championships numbering four (2004-05, 2006-07, 2013-14, 2016-17).
Things look both exciting and promising again this year. Think about it, goaltenders like Myles Hektor and Alec MacDonald, a rookie sensation by the name of Carson Lanceleve, a Curtis Heffernan on the blueline and leaders like Karter Renouf, Dylan Burton and Ryan Porter up front.
Following a 3-2 season-opening win in St. Stephen last weekend, the Bearcats play their 2018-19 home-opener at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre Saturday night. The Valley Wildcats will be the visitors with the opening faceoff at 7 p.m.
Lyle Carter’s sports column appears weekly in the Truro News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902 673-2857.