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Column: the enduring appeal of amateur sport

Last Friday's Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) championship football game between the George McDougall Mustangs and Cochrane Cobras was the best live sporting showdown I've witnessed since the return of sport following the pandemic-relate
opinion

Last Friday's Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) championship football game between the George McDougall Mustangs and Cochrane Cobras was the best live sporting showdown I've witnessed since the return of sport following the pandemic-related shutdown in March 2020.

The game provided plenty of drama, including a fourth-quarter comeback from the Mustangs, and a tense overtime period that ultimately ended in heartbreak for George McDougall's players.

I think every one of the 300-plus fans in the Ed Eggerer Athletic Park stands would agree it was an instant classic, and a memorable battle that will be talked about in local football circles for quite a while.

In my opinion, the game demonstrated the enduring appeal of high-school sport – something I've learned a lot about since I started working here in 2018. While the level of play offered by local high-school teams is far from what fans would experience at a professional, semi-professional, or even collegiate sporting competition, the storylines that make sport so appealing to fans are still on display in amateur athletics.

Throughout my time as the designated sports reporter and photographer for this paper, I've been privileged to capture and celebrate the successes of Airdrie's local athletes and sports teams over the last few years. Despite Airdrie's size, the city boasts plenty of impressive sports-related achievements, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to document and share many of these stories with our readers.

I've loved sport for as long as I can remember, and I particularly enjoy the many literary tropes that exist within a single season or game. There's the last-minute comeback, revenge, the unlikely hero, the local rivalry, the up-and-coming star, the tragically timed injury, the lengthy winning (or losing) streak, the joy of winning, and the agony of defeat. These are all literary themes I've witnessed and written about while covering Airdrie's local sports scene.

Thankfully, the easing of public health restrictions has provided us at the Airdrie City View the chance to re-establish our sports section and report more on some of Airdrie's local athletes and teams in the last few months. The return of a robust weekly sports section is something I hope we can continue to provide in the coming months, as COVID-19 case counts hopefully continue to fall and vaccination rates continue to rise.

I've written about this in my columns before, but just to reiterate, I'd strongly encourage any Airdrie sports fans to check out some of the live local sports on display in this city. While the level of play may not be what you are used to watching on TV or at the Saddledome, I can guarantee there is still plenty of entertainment on offer. Whether it's a junior B hockey game, a high school volleyball tournament, or a curling bonspiel, I promise you it will be a good time.

Scott Strasser, AirdrieToday.com
Follow me on Twitter @scottstrasser19


Scott Strasser

About the Author: Scott Strasser

Scott Strasser, editor
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