Dalbrae Dragons will be first county team at Coal Bowl
-by Bill Dunphy
The Dalbrae Dragons will become the first Inverness County team to compete at the prestigious Coal Bowl in New Waterford next week. Members of the team include, from left: (front) Cody Harrison, Kayle Cameron, Morgan Dunn, Regan Spears, Cullen MacInnis; (
The Dalbrae Dragons senior boys are set to make basketball history when they become the first Inverness County team to participate in the New Waterford Coal Bowl Classic.
The national invitational tournament began in 1982 at Breton Education Centre and combines top-level basketball with school-sponsored educational, social and cultural activities as well. It begins on Monday, Feb. 4th and runs until the following Saturday.
The Dragons are coached by BEC Bears alumnus Phil Blackwood, who admits his connection with the school might have given Dalbrae an “in.”
“The boys have been working hard all season and are really looking forward to this,” said Blackwood in an e-mail. “Basketball is certainly a big part of the tournament and we’re excited for it, but the educational and cultural experiences the boys are going to have are going to be equally impressive.
“I think it’s going to be a tournament they won’t soon forget,” he said.
This year’s event features Dalbrae, BEC and eight other teams. The Dragons are in the Gerald “Taits” Springall Division along with the host Breton Bears; Polyvalante de L’Ancienne Lorette, of Quebec; Colonel Gray, of P.E.I.; and South Colchester Academy, of Nova Scotia.
The other division includes the East Antigonish Mustangs, Memorial, Annapolis West, Halifax Grammar, and Charlottetown Rural.
“Our goal for the tournament is to go in and compete as hard and as smart as we can, and when the buzzer sounds, we’ll see where we stand,” said Blackwood.
“We know we’re going to be facing some tough teams, but we played East Antigonish a couple of weeks ago and we were able to hang tight with them for parts of the game, and they’re going to be one of the stronger teams at the tournament. I think we could potentially go in and surprise a few teams.”
Blackwood said the local season hasn’t been kind, delivering a few injuries and some storm cancellations, but at this point they’re in good shape.
“Because of the injuries we have been able to get some more playing time for some of our less-experienced players, which I think will pay off for us as we get deeper into the season,” he said. “And because of some cancelled games we’ve been able to get a few extra good practices in to work on our skills and concepts.”
All the players, coaches and officials stay in dormitory-style accommodations at the school. Team members will participate in scheduled tours relating to the mining industry. In addition, the tournament week will include the Coal Bowl dance, Coal Bowl concert, banquet and socials.
The objectives of the New Waterford Coal Bowl Classic are to recognize the close historical association between coal mining and basketball. Teams are also subjected to a quiz on the history of Cape Breton Island.
For more information, the tournament has a website at: www.cbv.ns.ca/coalbowl/xoops Games will also be live-streamed from this site.
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