By Jenn Watt
We got news this week that the nascent junior A team the Haliburton Wolves is looking for a new owner.
According to Stephane Laveault, the point person for the Wolves, Brad Williams, an owner of the team, passed away in February, which has left him looking for a buyer. (Williams’s other teams, Bobcaygeon and Coldwater, are also for sale.)
The team’s first year wasn’t without bumps; several of the players left during the season for various reasons, shortening the bench and making a win an often elusive goal.
But the town responded to the Wolves, coming out to games at the home arena, enthusiastically cheering on the home team.
As a story this week by Darren Lum illustrates, the benefits of having the team were wide ranging, from fans in the stands to the players themselves.
There were local players and those from as far away as Australia who made their way to Haliburton Village pursuing their passion for the game. Their time here built international connections that run both ways – they learned about Canada and we learned about them.
The team also gave everyone something to do on a Thursday night in Haliburton.
The games provided a reliable source of entertainment, a place to gather and an activity for young people.
As we saw at Battle of the Bands last month, which sold out the arena’s upstairs space as a fundraiser for the skatepark, when there’s something for young people, they will support it.
Our village doesn’t have a bowling alley or a movie theatre. Restaurants aren’t open late for teens who want to hang out over coffee. Save for school-organized events, a regular place for young people to congregate is missing most nights of the week.
And so, beyond the passion for Canada’s national sport and the fact that Haliburton is a town with a deep love of the game, the Wolves served an entirely other purpose.
It brought people together once a week with a common goal: to cheer on the home team.
A new owner bringing stability and consistency would be good news for the village.