Gopher Chokers 1977

by Orest Sereda

A small group of enthusiastic male teachers in Elk Point, wanting to keep fit, began this hockey club in the winter of 1974-1975 as an offshoot of their volleyball team. Their intent was to have fun and to minimize the risk of injury by allowing no slap shots or body checking. It was not long before Ron Onusko suggested the team be called "Gopher Chokers", named after a curling team in southern Saskatchewan. The name stuck, and a cute crest was promptly designed by Diane Ockerman, a high school student in Elk Point. It showed a chubby gopher on skates. Bright red sweaters and socks were purchased in November of 1975 along with one complete set of goalie equipment. Players bought or borrowed their own equipment as they saw fit.

The first year of official status (1975-76) saw the membership grow to thirty-one players. The president was Blame Easthope and the secretary-treasurer was Orest Sereda.

The Gopher Choker team held practices once or twice a week in the A. G. Ross Agricenter. They played exciting games with teams from Frog Lake, Glendon, Paradise Valley and Lindbergh. More recently the competition has come from as far as Edmonton.

In 1977 elected for president was Constable Brian Sparrow; vice-president, Alan Demchuk and for secretary-treasurer Orest Sereda. Competition has been keen with teams in the surrounding area such as the Lindbergh Last Knighters, Cold Lake Sewer Rats and Saddle Lake Bear Cats.