Their games would draw hundreds of fans, they won more often than not and even had players crack the provincial team.
Then things just sort of gradually fell off, until the club was no more.
“It was huuuge in Moose Jaw and then it was just the way the timing went with who was busy, who was having kids, who was getting married,” said former member Candy Katerynych. “It just finally worked out with good timing that everyone was able to start coming back together.”
And with that, the Moose Jaw Derby Guild was born.
The organization held their first meet-and-greet on Monday at the Red Knight Arena with the goal of gauging overall interest and reviving the sport for good in the city.
“We’re so excited,” Katerynych said as the first players arrived and prepared to take the floor. “We’ve been wanting to do it for a couple years but until we could get enough interest together and the space in order to do it all in one happy little zone. It’s finally all come together so we’re going to get going and we’re looking forward to it.”
Early returns were positive, as rugged veterans of the original team were joined by newcomers for the first time. The plan is to not only gather numbers but figure out just what kind of skill each player has at this juncture.
“We want to see who’s coming out and see where everyone’s level is at because I have to kind of build a training plan based off where people are at,” Katerynych said. “We’re hoping for around 15, which would give us enough for a senior team and hopefully the juniors will follow.”
Once things are solidly in place, the Guild will look for their first opponent, ideally sometime in September. The even better news is the derby community in the province is looking forward to seeing what happens.
“We do have a lot of people out there who are cheering for us to succeed and are lined up waiting to come play us, so that’s not a problem,” Katerynych said. “We just have to make sure where we’re at.”
The Guild is also holding a steak night at the Cornerstone Bar and Grill on July 12, with the goal of rebuilding the club’s finances. The event will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with tickets $20 for adults and $8 for children, with door prizes to be won and a 50-50 draw.