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A year in Cochrane sports: looking back on 2021

PHOTOS: That's a wrap on the 2021 season and here's a photo gallery to prove it. Congrats to all of Cochrane's athletes for completing a wacky year on the ice/pitch/field/track unlike any other.

JANUARY:

  • Cochrane Minor Baseball opened its registration for the 2021 season Jan. 15. There were 120 sign-ups to play by the afternoon of the first day registration opened, a lower number than in previous years.
  • After a financially successful year, Cochrane-based 4iiii Innovations Inc., which develops technologies that improve sports performance and athlete safety, renewed their partnership with international cycling team Israel Start-Up Nation to supply the team with the equipment they needed to train effectively.
  • Snap Dance Studios began offering free at-home classes to keep families active while strict provincial health measures were in place to combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • Arashi-Do Martial Arts joined forces with hundreds of other fitness facilities across Alberta in the fight to re-open their doors against the advice of provincial health officials, announcing their stance in a Facebook post Jan. 26.

FEBRUARY:

  • The province announced health measures would ease Feb. 8 to allow fitness facilities to re-open for one-on-one training. Minor sports teams and U9 to U18 tiered league teams were also given the go-ahead to proceed with their training seasons, in cohorts of 10, with no games allowed. Cochrane Minor Soccer announced they would have a development-only indoor season while Cochrane Minor Baseball said they would aim to proceed with a modified training season after having received more than 350 registrations, up roughly 250 people from 2020.
  • St. Timothy High School track athlete Darci Petersen, 17, accepted a full scholarship to St. Francis Xavier University. Petersen is the only student in St. Timothy’s history to compete and win in three consecutive city championships in Grades 7, 8, and 9.
  • Cochrane Minor Football opened for registration Feb. 16, announcing that it would remain open until all three teams – peewee, atom and bantam were filled.
  • Cochrane Cobras football head coach Robbie McNab and defensive back coach Tom Knitter were each awarded by Football Alberta for their efforts in “keeping the lights on” and keeping the football program at Cochrane High rolling.
  • Bow Rivers Edge Campground Society’s Capital Reinvestment Grant awarded $10,000 to allow for Cochrane Minor Baseball to install Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) at five ball diamonds in town.
  • Bastian van Wouw, a 14-year-old Cochrane High School student and luge athlete who was recruited by Team Canada NextGen Luge Team, returned from his first experience with the group of Olympic hopefuls that involved a six-week training camp in Whistler, B.C.

MARCH:

  • Cochrane Generals goalie Erik Garber was recruited into the Western Collegiate Hockey League by the Arizona State University Sun Devils.
  • After being forced to cancel its 2020 season, the Bow Valley Rugby Club began finalizing details to go ahead with their 2021 season, with some modifications to game play.
  • Cochrane BMX opened its registration for the 2021 season.

APRIL:

  • The Cochrane Comets Swim Club opened their spring registration.
  • Sport 4 Life Cochrane began exploring the idea of creating a Youth Sport Hub, which would aim to connect organizations, schools, and users, to better understand who is engaging in activities, and ensure sport opportunities are available for all Cochranites.
  • Cobras football linebacker Chandler Ball announced his recruitment to the Calgary Colts.
  • Football Alberta updated its return to play guidelines April 6, leaving Cochrane Minor Football and school programs hopeful for the possibilities of a fall season.
  • Cochrane golf courses reported high early season traffic with many people seeking COVID-friendly outdoor activities to take part in.
  • Bike Cochrane Society’s LaunchPad bike park officially opened to the public April 26.

MAY:

  • The Cochrane Pickleball Club opened its registration for its 2021 season from May 1 to September 30.
  • Special Olympics Alberta opened up registration for its PEAK program and began looking for participants across the province, including for the Bow Valley chapter.
  • Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre was forced to close its doors once again due to mandated COVID-19 public health guidelines.
  • Bow Valley Rugby, Cochrane Minor Soccer, the Cochrane Water Ninjas, the Alberta Orienteering Association, Cochrane BMX and Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre announced their partnerships with Sport 4 Life Cochrane to offer local youth a month-long opportunity to try a wide variety of sports and activities beginning in June through their All Sport program.

JUNE:

  • The Cochrane Track and Field Association said it was looking to upgrade its facilities between the Tri-School site.
  • The Bike Cochrane Society restarted its youth programming with a mountain bike camp.
  • Footstock 2021 made a virtual comeback June 6-13.
  • Cochrane’s minor baseball teams returned to the diamonds June 12-13.
  • St. Timothy High School’s Jacob Mate was awarded the Calgary Booster Club’s prestigious John Mayell Memorial Award and scholarship for his outstanding record as an athlete and his giving spirit.

JULY:

  • The Cochrane High School Cobras return to the field for spring training camp after getting the go-ahead from the school division.
  • Jim Wilson and his horse Buddy compete in an Extreme Cowboy Alberta Race at the Cochrane and District Ag Society Sunday, July 11.
  • Jacob Patterson, 16, was selected to be a part of Football Alberta’s U18 squad for the 2021 Summer Series.
  • Cochrane steer wrestler Tanner Milan made a Stampede Rodeo return. Milan started the week off with 6.9 seconds and finished with a scorching 4.0 and fifth place.
  • Kayleigh Walton launched Cochrane’s first all-girls skateboarding camp. The girls-only Prom Night skateboarding club started last year as a way for girls to meet up and skate and over the past year, the club has grown and launched its first week-long camp (July 19-23).
  • Cochrane General’s former general manager Jacqueline Hurlbert starts her new role with the Saskatchewan Roughriders as manager of marketing and communications.

 

AUGUST:

  • The Cochrane Rebels U16 girls softball team wrapped it season with a city championship game and a silver-medal win on July 28 at the GlenEagles Ball Diamonds.
  • Cochrane Minor Soccer wrapped its first season in a partnership with the Springbank Soccer Club. The intention of the three-year deal is to fill out the club’s roster, giving more kids an opportunity to enjoy the game and expose them to different coaches and style of play.
  • Alpine ski racer Kiara Alexander, 19, and coach Gavin Preziosi received $10,000 from the Fuelling Athletes and Coaching Excellence Program grant.
  • Twenty-five bull riders bucked for bragging rights and $10,000 Aug. 21 at the 20th annual Cochrane Classic Bull Riding. The top prize went to Weston Davidson of Strongfield, Sask., with an 80-point finish.
  • Bragg Creek Paintball reopened amid the COVID-19 pandemic after weathering a lengthy closure.
  • Cochrane Minor Hockey said it experienced a wave of registrations from girls. Of the more than 1,000 registered kids, more than 200 are girls, director Lorne Bremner said.

SEPTEMBER:

  • The Cochrane Cobras returned to the field Aug. 28-29 to prepare for their season opener against Airdrie’s Bert Church High School (Sept. 3). The won 50-21.
  • The River Surfing Championships were held in Kananaskis Country on Aug. 28.
  • The Cochrane Generals kick off the season with a 17-2 win over the expansion team, the Kainai Braves.
  • Cobras beat out the Bow Valley Bobcats in a 54-1 landslide at Spray Lake Sawmills Legacy field Sept. 10.
  • Cochrane High’s senior girls golf team brought home first place at the Rocky View Schools divisional tournament at Carstairs Community Golf Club on Sept. 15. The Grade 9 girls finished second and Grade 9 boys finished third.
  • Cochrane High School’s senior girls’ team will ride their Sept. 21 zones win into the spring when provincials are set to take place.
  • The Cochrane Generals are re-assigned to the Heritage Junior Hockey League’s Northern Division.

OCTOBER:

  • Men’s Rangers defeat the Latin Furia Soccer Club 6-1 in the final season game on Oct. 2.
  • Cochrane’s Endurance Project kicked off in the first cross-country meet in Canmore on Sept. 25.
  • Adorned in pink, the Cochrane Cobras won 31-10 against the Springbank Phoenix in the annual breast cancer awareness game Oct. 8.
  • The undefeated Cochrane High Cobras senior girls volleyball team won three out of five sets in a gruelling second-last game of the regular season on Oct. 18.
  • The Cochrane High Cobras girls soccer team brought home the Tier 1 South-Central Zone banner after winning 3-2 in a tight gold-medal game that went into OT against Okotoks’ Holy Trinity Academy Knights on Oct. 23.

NOVEMBER:

  • The Cochrane High football team claimed their sixth consecutive RVSA Championship title in a hard-fought game against the George McDougall Mustangs at Airdrie’s Ed Eggerer Athletic Park on Oct. 29.
  • The Cobras senior girls and boys volleyball teams win banners in the Rocky View Sports Association league final at home on Nov. 16.
  • The Cobras send Winston Churchill Bulldogs back to Lethbridge after a 57-0 blow out on Nov. 12.
  • Performers rehearsed for their production of the Nutcracker at Snap Dance Studios Nov. 21.
  • The Cobras senior girls and boys volleyball top the ranks of competitors in the South Central Zone tournament in Strathmore.
  • The Cochrane Generals win back-to-back-to-back the Nov. 21 weekend. Centre Dean Olenyk celebrated his 100th Junior B career point during the game against Mountainview.

 DECEMBER:

  • The Cochrane Cobras lengthened their six-year dynasty as the Alberta Sports’ Athletic Association’s Tier III provincial football champions after a 15-7 win in Edmonton on Nov. 26 against the Holy Rosary Raiders.
  • The Cochrane Cobras varsity girls won silver at the ASAA 3A provincials in Westlock Nov. 24-27.
  • The Cochrane Endurance Project celebrates sending 13 athletes to the Canadian Cross-Country Championships at the end of November.
  • Local triathlete Clint Dalziel finished fifth in his first-ever full Ironman race in Arizona, earning himself a ticket to compete in Hawaii next year.
  • Cochrane-area curler, Julianna MacKenzie and Team Crough will head to the Alberta Scotties in Grande Prairie to compete against some of the best starting Jan. 3.
  • The Cochrane Chaos finish the year in the No. 1 spot in the Alberta Junior Female Hockey League after a 5-1 win against Dec. 17 against the Calgary Titans.
  • The Cochrane Cowboys Wrestling Club competes locally and nationally.