Behchoko wins $25,000 in LiardWrigley, mixed teams place at inaugural handgames tournament
Northern News Services
Thursday, August 27, 2015
ACHO DENE KOE/FORT LIARD
The first annual $25,000 men's handgame tournament kicked off in Fort Liard Aug. 21 with eight teams from across the North.
Adam Nadli, left, Logan Causa, Keagan Nadli and Dustin Bonnetrouge put up a good fight in Fort Providence's match against Wrigley. - April Hudson/NNSL photo
The games took triple knockout format. Each team had eight players as well as one optional sub and entered at a cost of $1,000 per team Registration closed Aug. 21 at 10 a.m. and games began three hours later.
Players ages 12 and up spent most of the weekend at the recreation centre, where the games took place. Teams from Behchoko, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Wrigley, Fort Liard and Liard River squared off against each other over the course of three days.
Games started in the winners bracket with Fort Liard team Mbeh Cho Lah facing off for a loss against a Wrigley team captained by Jarrett Moses, while a second Wrigley team captained by David Moses played and lost to Behchoko. Fort Simpson lost its first game against mixed Deh Cho team Moose Hide Bear Grease, and Liard River won in its game against Fort Providence.
Moose Hide Bear Grease came out on top in the winners bracket after winning a second game against Liard River and a third against Behchoko.
Fort Simpson lost its next game against Fort Providence and a following game against Liard River, but team members stuck around throughout the weekend to support the fall gathering and cheer on the other teams.
"Because this is the first annual, we want it to be a success," said team member Jim Antoine.
Antoine noted although Fort Liard has held events in the past, it has been years since a weekend gathering had taken place.
Behcheko on top
Behchoko came out on top in first place, and team members Alex Black, Cole Ekendia, Jacob Rabesca, Jimmy Wedawin, Phillip Mackenzie, George Mackenzie, Pierre and Peter Adzin and Mike Nitzin took home the $25,000 prize.
Moose Hide Bear Grease team members Fred Menacho, Tim Gargan, Tyler Smith, Tyler Lafferty, Cory Jumbo, Colten Deneron, Dalton Jumbo, Ernest Tsetso and Brent Betsina took second place overall.
David Moses' Wrigley team, with Dwight Norwegian, Kayden Antoine, George Moses, Ryett Cli
Moose Hide Bear Grease team member Fred Menacho, who joined the tournament from Jean Marie River, said he was glad to see younger players sign up for the tournament.
"For some of them, this was their first tournament and they did pretty good. It usually takes a lot of work," he said.
"Handgames are all about fun. I enjoyed it and our team played together well - I think the tournament was a success."
Menacho said aside from the handgames the best part of the weekend was the food.
"I told my partner at one point, 'I want to go, but the bannock is so good,' " he said. "The traditional food - moose meat, rabbit stew, porcupine - everything was really good."
Moses, Ethan Cli, Tim Lennie, Allan Moses and Johnny Deneron won three games in Losers Bracket 1 for an overall third-place finish, while Jarrett Moses' Wrigley team took fourth place.