Tilbury Excited For The Prospect Of A Junior C Team
Although residents, and local groups alike are excited at the prospect of a Junior C franchise moving to Tilbury, people also recognize the loss this would be for Wallaceburg.
“I definitely am sorry to see the Lakers leave Wallaceburg after all these years,” said West Kent Councillor Mark Authier in an email to CKSN. “I know Tilbury would embrace the team with open arms. I have had quite a few messages from people that want them here. A great rivalry could start between Wheatley and Tilbury, like Wallaceburg and Dresden have had in the past.”
“While I recognize that the gain of a Jr C hockey team for Tilbury means the loss of that club in another community, I am pleased the team is staying within Chatham-Kent,” fellow West Kent councillor Melissa Harrigan wrote to CKSN. “I think this is good news for West Kent arenas, both in Tilbury and Whestley, and certainly good news for the hockey community of Tilbury. My children are just starting hockey at 5, 7, and 2, so a long way from Junior C, but I think like most “hockey moms” in town, I was excited to hear the news.”
One group who would love to see Tilbury house a Junior C team again, is the Tilbury Area Action Team.
The group penned a letter to CKSN showing their support for a hockey franchise in Tilbury, while also aknowleding the impact the relocation of the Lakers would have on Wallaceburg.
“Although Tilbury Area Action Team (TAAT) is ecstatic about the possibility of the Wallaceburg Lakers Junior C team relocating to Tilbury, we acknowledge how this would be a great loss for Wallaceburg and its residents. Ideally, it would be great if the Wallaceburg Lakers could remain in Wallaceburg while a new additional hockey team franchise could be pursued by interested sources in Tilbury,” the group wrote.
“If the Lakers team does in fact relocate to Tilbury, there would be a number of benefits to Tilbury and area.”
The Tilbury Area Action Team pointed to increasing their local arena usage, providing entertainment to residents, and boosting local businesss as possible benefits of a Junior C team, namely the Wallaceburg Lakers moving to Tilbury.
The group also thought a Junior C franchise would be a bright spot for youth, and would have subsidiary benefits to surrounding communities including Wheatley.
“TAAT also supports a new hockey team for Tilbury as we believe that it will help spark an interest in more local youth playing hockey from an early age,” they wrote.
“By having a Junior C team in Tilbury, there most definitely would be the start of a rivalry between the Wheatley Sharks and a team in Tilbury. This could also help increase attendance and therefore enhance the fan base between the two communities.”
Whatever the outcome and decision of the PJHL Stobbs Division and Ontario Hockey Association regarding the possible relocation of the Wallaceburg Lakers, the town of Tilbury seems excited at the possibility of having a Junior C franchise return to town now, or in the future.