The former Big Valley Oil Kings hockey team have moved to Eckville and become the senior ‘AA’ Eckville Eagles.
Owner, general manager, player and Eckville local Reed Watts is pleased that the relocation went through and the team is hosting their first annualEckville Sr. Eagles Golf Tournament to commemorate the inaugural season and get to know the team’s new community.
“It is a chance to get out, have some fun, meet the team and have the chance for the team to meet some of their potential fans,” Watts said. “The people are going to be the ones who really support them throughout the year.”
The tournament, which takes place at Meadowlands Golf Course on September 11, costs $99 for 18 holes of golf, a golf cart, driving range and a steak dinner to follow, which will include door prizes, raffle items and a silent auction. The reason for the tournament being in Sylvan Lake is because the necessity to have an 18-hole course with so many participants, according to Watts.
“The team is a relocation from Big Valley, which didn’t have a course – so we did our tournament last year in Stettler, which was only a nine hole course,” he said. “With a nine hole course and 72 people, it turned into a six hour 18-hole day. I was so tired, exhausted and frustrated,which led to it needing to be an 18 hole course this year.”
It is also an opportunity for the Eckville Eagles to create a fan base throughout all of Central Alberta.
“We are looking to have fans from more then just Eckville,” Watts said. “Sylvan had senior ‘AAA’, Eckville used to have senior ‘AA’ years ago,Leslieville and Condor are big hockey supporters and always get behind their players. We want to tap into that and make our presence felt.”
Watts is happy to get started with team events, after going through the relocation process with the NCHL.
“Relocation and everything we went through was nerve racking,” Watts said. “There were no big concerns, the league just wanted to do their process. Everyone involved was awesome and I’m happy to have the team in Eckville now.”
With the season starting on October 1 on the road, Watts is excited for his team to get back on the ice with their mini-camp in September, which will result in the roster being set for opening night. The team is looking “strong” according to Watts, and there are some local players –including himself.
“There are a couple local hopefuls, there is a Bentley boy, there are a couple Lacombe boys,” he said, adding that is was a little disappointing that some of the best Eckville players have decided to hang up their skates in recent years.
“We are trying to get as much local talent as we can because the more local, the better your draw is hopefully,” Watts said
If you would like to know more about the Eckville Eagles, or if you would like to participate in the golf tournament contact Reed Watts at (403)505-9440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.