Teams ready as All-Native starts Sunday

  • Feb. 1, 2012 5:00 a.m.

By Karyn Prest–The 53rd All Native Tournament starts this Sunday (Feb. 5) in Prince Rupert. Haida Gwaii will be represented by the Skidegate Intermediate and Senior Saints, and the Massett Intermediate Haida Warriors, Senior Raiders and Old Massett Masters.Skidegate Senior Saints’ coach Dave Wahl said his “team has been working really hard – they have done everything we’ve asked them to do. They have trained at least three nights a week since September (which) is tough to do for grown men with busy lives… It shows how badly they want to win this tournament.” Coach Wahl said he has never seen a team with as much talent, fitness and desire and “they are going to be very difficult to beat.”Massett teams are training hard as well, according to Raiders coach Marshall Russ. He said they have been “training pretty hard for the last two months. Lots of injuries… but healing up, getting ready for the tournament. Our senior men’s team is going to make a little bit of noise, same as Skidegate!” Coach Russ wishes everyone good luck at the All-Native, and says “see you there.”The Senior Saints will be up against New Aiyansh Sunday at 2:30 pm in the main gym and the Massett Seniors play against Port Simpson at 4 pm. The Skidegate Intermediates play New Aiyansh at 11 am Monday and Massett Intermediates play Ahousat at 4 pm. And Massett Masters play Greenville at 8 pm Monday night in the arena.Opening ceremonies are scheduled for Sunday night at 8 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door for all events but season passes, which?include opening ceremonies, can be purchased for $150 by calling the Tournament office (250-627-8997).New this year to the tournament festivities is a basketball shoot-out contest for a Ford F-150 truck Saturday night presented by Brown Bros. Ford Lincoln in Vancouver. Also, Erica Ryan-Gagne, owner of Skidegate business Eri-Cut & Nailed, will have a table in the auditorium with gel and odorless?acrylic nails, hair products and skin products for sale.Good luck to all the teams!