Niagara Gazette

September 4, 2013

MROZIAK: Red Nine and more from the desk...

By MICHAEL MROZIAK
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Every so often there comes an article or series that triggers an overwhelming response from the public.

Ken Ruggiero’s recent series on the Red Nine at Hyde Park Golf Course did just that.

It not only generated a significant number of calls and emails, it has inspired a one-day grassroots tournament on the Red Nine scheduled for next month. 

Ken phoned me the other night to share this upcoming event. It will be held with a shotgun start at 11 a.m. Oct. 6.

More details will be coming in the near future (this is not a Gazette sponsored event, just to be clear), but it’s being billed as a “show of support” for the Red Nine by golfers who perhaps cut their teeth on the course back in their younger years, or people who still use it, appreciate its history and simply don’t want to see it fade away.

While I cannot speak on Ken’s behalf, I could sense the excitement in his voice during our chat during the holiday weekend and I’m sure he’ll have more to say in the very near future.

• • •

As we head into the fall, both Ken and our resident baseball columnist Doug “Base Paths” Smith will soon be winding down their columns for the fall. I’m in no hurry for that to happen, but as the leaves start falling followed a few weeks later by snowflakes, it’s simply that time of year.

Both gentlemen have advised me they’ve got some more material to deliver this month, but I’d still like to take this moment to show my gratitude and respect. Guys, I’ll look forward to keeping these spaces set aside for you when it’s time to pick things up again in the spring.

• • •

It might seem a bit too soon to be talking about hockey but in addition to the Buffalo Sabres starting training camp in short time, the Buffalo Junior Sabres open their Ontario Junior Hockey League regular season this coming Sunday. They will do so as, for their first time in the OJHL, as the defending West Division and South-West Conference Champions.

In the interest of full disclosure, I served the previous two seasons as their media relations officer before coming to the Gazette. I may not be long removed, but Jr. Sabres head coach and general manager Michael Peca has shuffled the lineup significantly since last season. It remains, based on observing practices and looking up and down their roster, a very competitive lineup.

It will also have a significant Niagara County and Tonawanda flavor, with several players on this year’s team hailing from this part of Western New York.

One of the players has already committed to Niagara University in the future.

With that in mind, we’ll be offering a Jr. Sabres season preview this coming weekend.

Follow Niagara Gazette sports editor Michael Mroziak on Twitter @MrozGazette.