Jock Talk with Joel Charron: Proud days for the Burg

I recently read the Blackberry Messenger status of my friend Wes Ewer that read “Proud to be for the Burg.”

I paused for a second and thought, although our town has been blasted in the face with a lot of negative press in the past year, this past week has been a great week for us in Amherstburg.

Yes it is sports related, and yes I’m sure some of you will roll your eyes about it, but why not celebrate it, after all shouldn’t we be celebrating every little success we get because according to some our successes are few and far between.

First off, our General Amherst Lady Gens.

As you read on our front page, our beauties of the hardcourt brought home an OFSAA gold medal.

Over the past eight years the General Amherst Lady Gens (although each team has been different) have brought home five golds, two silvers and one bronze from the provincial tournament.

This is a streak that blows my mind.

While some schools only dream of getting to OFSAA our girls routinely show up like it’s their god-given right to be there.

Very year the girls open the season with immense pressure and every year they handle it with grace and professionalism that has become the benchmark as to what it means to be a Lady Gen.

I must admit, when I first started out working for the RTT, I wasn’t too excited about covering girls sports, that was until I saw the Lady Gens play for the first time.

It has now become one of my favorite times of year, watching the girls strive to carve their place in the Lady Gens illustrious history.

So congratulations to all 12 members of this year’s championship squad, your school and town are extremely proud of your accomplishments.

Another topic that makes me beam with pride is Kevin Westgarth.

Last Wednesday night I was watching TSN like I do very night when a specific highlight caught my attention.

The Los Angeles Kings were playing the Dallas Stars and 5:29 into the second period, Westgarth knocked in his first NHL goal against the Stars’ Kari Lehtonen.

What a moment it must have been for the former Amherstburg Star to record first goal. If I was jumping up and down celebrating it, I wonder what Westgarth must have been feeling.

This is a moment that should be celebrated by all involved in Amherstburg Minor Hockey.

Westgarth is a local hero and should be treated as one.

I asked Amherstburg Minor Hockey president Marc Renuad if he saw or heard of Westgarth’s achievement. Renaud said yes and followed it up by saying it was a proud moment for Amherstburg hockey to see one of theirs on a NHL stat sheet.

I posed a question to him that I feel very strongly about.

Will Westgarth’s number 15 he wore while playing in Amherstburg Minor Hockey be retired?

To my knowledge he is Amherstburg’s only NHL’er and the only Amherstburg resident ever to score a goal in the NHL.

Renaud said he would bring it up to the AMH board. I hope the board does the right thing and goes forward with this.

I think it’s a good way to honour Amherstburg’s only current professional athlete and it will give the youngsters a local sports hero to look up to.

So while others continue to bash our town, I will continue to find the silver lining and celebrate the achievements I see everyday.


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