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Editorial: Pro ranks

It’s been a whirlwind couple of days for some of Rocky View County’s most talented athletes. On Oct.
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It’s been an exciting month for some of Rocky View County’s most talented athletes.

On Oct. 6, a lifelong goal came true for Bragg Creek’s Dylan Holloway after he was selected in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft (see story on page 12). Holloway’s selection was not necessarily a surprise, given his tremendous progress in the sport over the last few years, but it’s certainly the culmination of many years of hard work, and a moment worth celebrating. Of course, the real work starts now, as Holloway fights to make the step up to the professional level in the coming years.  

Holloway wasn’t the only hockey star with ties to the region whose name was called in the draft last week. Airdrie’s Jake Neighbours was also selected in the first round, by the St. Louis Blues, while Cochrane’s Tyrel Bauer was picked up in the sixth round by the Winnipeg Jets. Young hockey players from Bragg Creek, Airdrie and Cochrane now have some new role models and hometown heroes.

Meanwhile, six young members of the Springbank Soccer Club will soon take their own first tentative steps toward a hopeful pro career in their sport (see story on page 13). This winter, the players will show off their skills to professional scouts at a select training program affiliated with the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer.

As journalists, we love to document the accomplishments of local athletes. That enthusiasm is amplified when we see them progress to the professional ranks. Many people feel a sense of pride when someone from their hometown becomes a professional athlete; we’re the same.  

These competitors are living proof you can strive to become a professional athlete even if you grow up in a relatively small town. While they all had to leave the nest to pursue their dreams, their success shows what athletes can accomplish when they work hard and believe in their talents – regardless of where they're from.