The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) on Thursday, Feb. 4, acknowledged the Bantam House Border Bruins’ championship 2019-20 season in a special banner-raising ceremony at the Jack Goddard Arena. The event will stand out in the annals of West Kootenay minor hockey for two reasons.
To begin with, there was scarcely anyone to mark the occasion that would normally have been attended by players, coaches and their families. COVID-19 restrictions whittled the crowd down to The Gazette, who filmed the proceedings, and RDKB Chief Engineer Darryl Funk, who hung the banner from its pride of place along the Jack’s ceiling rafter. In a bizarre twist on that time old tradition, Funk fed a lock of hair into the banner’s seam, where it will last in perpetuity.
The hair came from assistant coach Mike Tollis, who along with head coach Kenneth Abetkoff and assistant coaches Terrance McDonnell and James Bryant led the team to victory in last year’s hair-raising final against the Nakusp Falcons. After a healthy dose of ribbing from his young squad, Tollis said he’d told the kids he would consider cutting his hair if they won the banner.
But, Tollis said he balked, telling the kids that, technically, he had considered it: He would go through with it if the team beat their parents in an impromptu scrimmage at the team’s last practice. They did, leaving Tollis holding his mane from the base of his head as the kids gleefully lopped off about six inches of pony tail.
Captain Zak Thomas kept the prized hair in a Ziploc baggie for the better part of a year ending last week, Tollis said. The team then asked Funk if he could find a way to hang the hair with the banner. Ever the engineer, Funk slid the hair into a clear section of tubing he slid under the banner’s dowel.
The Gazette would like to congratulate players Dalien Becher (#1), Aiden Burch (#2), Wyatt Cairns (#3), Jack Jones (#4), Corbin Savitskoff (#5), Gabriella Campbell (#6), Amelia Driedger (#7), Cameron Bryant (#8), Michael Driedger (#9), Joshua Bryant (#10), Riley Menzies (#11), Marcus Carney (#13), Cole Savitskoff (#15), Joaquin Mattick (#16), Lincoln Faulkner (#17), Zak Tomas (#19), Samuel Sjoden (#20), Morgan Cairns (#21), Brenden Vanderbee (#29) and William Kelly (#30) on their fantastic achievement.