Skip to content

Senior AA hockey returning to Thornbury

The team was approved by the league recently and will begin play in Thornbury in October
2020_09_29 TBM Beaver Valley Arena_JG

Senior AA hockey is returning to the Beaver Valley Community Centre.

The Western Ontario Athletic Association (WOAA) recently approved an application for a new Thornbury Senior AA hockey team to begin operating in October 2023.

Local hockey player Mack Fleming, who played in the WOAA this past season for Shallow Lake, has been spearheading the effort with a number of friends to secure a team for Thornbury.

The league approved the group’s application on June 16 and the organizers have begun an online/Facebook “name the team contest.” Details can be found on the team Facebook here.

Potential names include: Merchants, Steelheads or Apple Kings. The name-the-team vote ends on Friday, June 23 at noon.

“We went down and presented at the WOAA offices in Wingham. We’ll operate as a non-profit. We’re doing everything by sponsorship and we’ll have an executive board to make decisions,” said Fleming.

The league allows players from the age of 20 and up.

“The skill level is from junior C right up to ex-pro guys,” said Fleming, who expects 40-50 players to attend tryouts for the new squad.

Fleming, who was a star forward with the Knights of Meaford during his junior hockey career and tied a WOAA record this past season when he scored seven goals in a single game, plans to play for the new team once he secures his release from Shallow Lake.

“I wanted to be closer to home. Every town in the league is about an hour away,” he said.

The Beaver Valley Community Centre was once home to the Georgian Bay River Rats senior team until it departed the local scene in 2008. Fleming said the new team hopes to organize an alumni game as a fundraiser and is also lining up ideas for other fundraising events and initiatives.

Fleming said there will be plenty of volunteer opportunities for local youth to assist with social media and game day help.

Fleming said it has been a great experience working behind the scenes to set up the new organization.

“It’s been a lot of work for sure. It’s been fun work,” he said. “It’s nice to figure stuff out and try to build a good team, not only on the ice but up top too, with the same vision for a community-based team.”

One of the team’s plans is to establish a charitable community fund that will assist local kids to play hockey.

Fleming said more details about the team’s schedule will be known and announced in the coming weeks.


Reader Feedback

About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
Read more