Wednesday, 04 March 2015, 9:30 am

Stimulation disqualification

By JOHN BOUTILIER
Columnist
You may want to think twice before your cup of joe. PHOTO BY JOHN BOUTILIERYou are a student about to head to class at the non-human time of 8:30 a.m. A classmate hands you something to make you perform better. Would you take it?
I’m not talking about drugs, but a stimulant: Coffee.
Millions of people drink coffee daily to try to wake their hazy heads from slumber. Most bat an eye to the effects caffeine and sugar have on your body, especially at such an early time when many haven’t had breakfast yet.
Caffeine has limited medical uses, other than to help ease headaches and maybe hangovers depending on who you are, so why is it the go-to drink for people in need of a boost? We don’t judge others in need of a boost, unless of course the subject is a professional athlete, then it’s cheating, technically.
By definition a stimulant is “a substance that raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in...

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Curling towards 150 years

By STACEY BULMER
Staff Writer
The goal of curling is to get your team’s rocks as close to the centre ring as possible, while preventing the opposite team’s rocks from accomplishing the same goal. PHOTO BY STACEY BULMER“Hard! Hard! Hard!” and “Whoa! Whoa! Stop, let it drift!” ring out across the St. Catharines Curling Club’s expanse.
Founded in 1869, the club celebrates its 146th birthday this year.
Bob Borthwick, a club president and a member, said it is “member-owned.” But just because he’s the president doesn’t mean he  is so mired in administrative duties that he doesn’t curl.
Almost every Thursday, he said, he’s curling with a recreational team consisting of older men.
Philip Aiello, one of the bar staff, has a constant twinkle in his eye, insisting “you can’t be a part of the club if you don’t order” something, including chips or pop, as well as the alcoholic beverages.
Margaret Muir, an active club member, has been curling for 50 years.
“The game itself has more than enough challenges to keep a person interested for 50 years,” she said.
“Although it’s easy enough to get the basic concept, that...

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‘Phaneuf’ of the bad decisions

DAVID CHERNISH
Columnist
Fans look on as Toronto Maple Leafs captain and top defenceman Dion Phaneuf takes the ice for pre-game warm up in a 2013-2014 season game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Nov. 9, 2013 versus the New York Islanders. PHOTO BY DAVID CHERNISHIt’s been a long hard ride for Toronto Maple Leaf fans, filled with poor decisions and lousy 60-minute games. But the future is bright.
Last week, Leafs President Brendan Shanahan got full approval from the bosses at Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment (MLSE) for a complete five-year rebuild of the team, declaring the roster a non-playoff contender.
In this column we will look at the plan Shanahan will put in place, and take an overall look at how the Leafs will approach this rebuild.
For many years, there has been a lack of front office leadership, the players sense it and aren’t performing.
Newly acquired forward Olli Jokinen talked to the media last night after his first game vs Florida Panthers, and talked about the Leafs, and there was no positive energy in the locker room.
“The one thing I noticed, being here two days, is there is a lot of negative energy”,...

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Bring on Algonquin

By JOSH THOMAS
Staff Writer
Knights celebrate moments after Devon Lowes delivered the ace that gave them their 15th win of the season and sent them into the playoffs on a high note. Knights will open the playoffs against the Algonquin Thunder on Sunday. PHOTO BY JOSH THOMASThe Knights win a thriller versus St. Clair College, and finish off the regular season with a 15-3 record.
In what seems to have become typical Knights fashion, Niagara went down to the wire with the St. Clair Saints, of Windsor, Ont. The Knights didn’t need the win as they had already clinched second place in the western conference, but they wanted it because the game had implications for the rest of the standings.
Two sets into the game everything seemed to be going as planned; the Knights had taken both sets somewhat convincingly, 25-17, 25-20, and looked to be in for an early finish. However, St. Clair wouldn’t go away without a fight and the Knights began to stray from the game plan. St. Clair took the third and fourth set, 25-21, 25-21 and Niagara head coach Joey Martins needed to rally his troops.
“I stated things that...

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Mourning the passing of Steve Montador

By CHRIS PERRELLI
Staff Writer
Steve Montador played 571 games, tallying 33 goals, 98 assists for 131 points. SUBMITTED PHOTOYou probably wouldn’t be able to find Steve Montador on a highlight reel.
Most hockey fans are hard pressed to remember him at all. However, to those lives he touched over his 
career, Montador will always be remembered for more than his on ice abilities.
Montador’s passing in his Mississauga home on Feb. 15 deeply saddened the hockey world. As the news broke, many friends, teammates and pretty much anyone who he came in contact with, honoured him and his love for the sport. 
Former Buffalo Sabres teammate Ryan Miller took to Twitter to say, “Monty laughed a lot and made the rink a fun place. So sad. Just spent some time with him this summer.”
Another former Sabres teammate Luke Adam joined the Twitter conversation saying, “So sad to hear the passing of my former teammate Steve Montador. ‘I will always remember how good you were to me...

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Funds holding back college football team

By DAVID CHERNISH
Staff Writer
Shown is a Canadian university football game at Laval University between the Laval Rouge Or and Acadia Axemen from Nova Scotia. SUBMITTED PHOTONiagara College has a handful of teams competing in various sports – basketball and volleyball to name a few. But why is there no football team?
In the Ontario College Athletics Association (OCAA) not one of 24 colleges has a football team. In fact, not one college in Canada has a football program, but many Canadian universities do.
“There is no college in the OCAA that can afford to have a football varsity program,” said Ray Sarkis, Niagara College’s intercollegiate co-ordinator, “not to mention the enormous cost of insurance.”
That “enormous cost” also explains why not even every university in the country has a football program.
Should the OCAA decide to implement and expand a football league with the other athletics, there is no question it would affect other varsity programs.
“The funding for those programs would be cut in order to support a varsity football program,” Sarkis said.
He added that a...

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Knights take two en route to playoffs

By CHRIS PERRELLI
Staff Writer
Knights’ defence protects the net against the Sheridan Bruins on Feb. 12. SUBMITTED PHOTOThe Knights men’s volleyball team finishes the regular season on a strong note with two impressive wins over the Sheridan Bruins and St. Clair Saints.
The Knights hosted the Sheridan Bruins on Feb. 12 at the Welland campus for the second annual Niagara College volleyball grad night. Before the first serve, seven graduating Knights were honoured for their achievements at the school.  The 2014-2015 graduates were Bailey Cochrane (Barrie) , Ben Fillmore (Cayuga), Dan Mrowiec (Brampton), Bret Polfuss (Kitchener), Jeff Scott (Georgetown), Nathan Snippe (St. Anns), and Aaron Vanderlugt (Burlington).
The ceremony proved to fire up the squad as they took the game in three quick sets: 25-17, 30-28, 25-19. The Knights’ serves were too much to handle as they blew 10 aces past the Bruins’ defence. Third-year outside hitters Polfuss and Scott terrorized the Bruins’ tallying an impressive four service-aces each.
Scott once again led the charge with...

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