MEDICINE HAT, AB – It’s rare that a sports team stays together long enough to win a championship or a gold medal, let alone succeed with decades of experience.
But, the St. Albert Buzzards aren’t like most teams.
On Sunday morning, the Buzzards dropped the final hammer at the 2019 Alberta 55+ Summer Games, winning the final gold medal of the week with a blowout victory over the Edmonton Cubs in the men’s 70+ division.
It’s the latest honour for the northern Alberta club, which 71-year-old Richard Perreault said has been hitting the diamond together for the better part of two decades.
“We’ve been playing, most of us, about 20 years together,” said Richard. “So, it makes a big difference when you know all the guys really well. We always pull for one another and it’s great.”
The conclusion of Sunday’s tilt between the Buzzards and Cubs was a special one, with both teams exchanging handshakes and a few laughs at home plate following the seventh inning.
“A lot of the other guys we played against [Sunday], we’re all good friends,” said Richard. “Most of them are from St. Albert, it’s ideal we just love it.”
Sunday’s final medal presentation marked the end of a joyful week of sports in the ‘Gas City’ with over 800 athletes from across the province sharing in their love of athletics.
The Buzzards unsurprisingly were thrilled with their week coming out on top of the 70+ ranks with gold around their necks, but it was the company they won with that made the experience even sweeter.
Richard’s younger brother Chester is a member of the Buzzards as well and said the team has shared an incredibly close bond over the years, which has carried over to everyday life.
“Just like brothers,” said Chester. “Always look out for them, try to help them out where we can, on or off the field, summer or winter.”
Set to head back to St. Albert on Sunday, Chester added the most rewarding aspect of the Alberta 55+ Games isn’t the colour of medals awarded, but the promotion of activity among the province’s most experienced athletes.
“Just something to stay active,” he said. “Otherwise we’re going to the lake fishing or something, but this keeps us going.”
A full medal tally of the 2019 Alberta 55+ Summer Games was not available as of Sunday night.
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