WEYBURN – The Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings were on the ice for their fall hockey camp over the weekend. The camp wrapped up with the inaugural Eric Calibaba Cup (formerly the Red-and-White game), featuring the top 40 players on Sunday evening.
This event is named in honour of former assistant captain Eric Calibaba, a Radville alumni who played for the Red Wings from 2005-2009 and passed away in a car accident in June of 2019.
Team White came out on top over Team Red by a score of 5-2.
According to head coach Cody Mapes, there were 22 players at the camp who had at least one full season of Junior A Hockey under their belt. Mapes provided a preview of the fall camp during the Red Wings annual general meeting, held at the Ramada Inn on Aug. 23.
“There are 83 out of 90 players in the camp who have U18 AAA experience, so this year’s camp was very competitive,” said Mapes. “We expected to have 10 players from south Saskatchewan, three of which are Weyburn players.”
Red Wings hockey staff will include Mapes as the head coach and general manager, assistant coach Kevin Saworski, mental strength coach Kyle MacDonald, director of player personnel Randy Pacholko, and injury prevention includes Marv Fox along with other staff members.
In addition, scouts and other alumni from all over North America have reached out over the past year, offering to help if they can. “The past success of this organization will bring new success,” said Mapes.
Community involvement from the team will increase this year, as the plan is to have the whole team commit to 40 hours of community service a week. Players will be involved with minor hockey teams and camps, visit schools, and help local sponsors any chance they can.
There will also be an “Ethics in Sports Committee”, where three members of the organization, plus one player to be named later, will ensure a safe environment for players and proper avenues of communications for them.
Looking ahead to the regular season, Mapes said, “we believe we have brought in the right players over the last year to be significant in the NCAA recruiting process. We have continued to be in contact with division one schools over the summer about a number of our players and, pending a good start to the year, expect our players to have some serious consideration for scholarships.”
“We are extremely excited for this season. We have added some great pieces to our team in the form of players and coaching staff. The expectations are high this season and for every season moving forward. This includes the product on the ice and the involvement in the community.”
“Our belief in this group will not waiver,” added Mapes. “We believe that this is the right group to bring meaningful hockey back to Crescent Point Place.”