Article by N. Schoonderbeek/Media by N. Schoonderbeek & C. Archer
This is the first article in a multi-part series exploring the Eagles’ fandom – a community of people who passionately support the team.
Eaglet is the official term for a young eagle. They can be found roaming in large groups in their natural habitat: Rickard Arena.
Reid, age 9, has been an eaglet for about two years. He plays for the Oshawa Generals U10AAA team and dreams of someday playing for the Edmonton Oilers. He comes out to watch the Eagles play because he “just loves hockey”.
His favourite hockey player is Connor McDavid, of course. But when asked who his favourite Eagle player is, he replies “Scooby!” before quickly noting that he doesn’t play for the team this year. Ethan Schoonderbeek is a defenceman who played for the Eagles last season before heading off to college this year.
His friends tried to chime in to influence his player of choice, but Reid cannot be persuaded. His favourite current Eagle is Connor Davies, who happened to score a goal that day against the Georgina Ice. Asked if he cheered loudly when Davies scored, he shyly smiled and replied “yeah, a little bit.” Reid excitedly adds that he has a signed puck from Connor Davies.
I pulled a few strings to persuade a grumpy Scooby to drop what he was doing and drive some distance to the rink in Bowmanville. Scooby surprised Reid with a chat and a photo. Thanks Scoobs!
Jacob and Dalyn Fairey are also regulars at Eagles games. Their father, Dave Fairey, is an assistant coach with the team. Dave tells me that they are both avid fans.
Dalyn is a forward with the Clarington Flames U15A team for the current season and will be playing U15AA in the upcoming season. She says her father occasionally comes on the bench for her team and helps at practices for her and her brother’s teams. She likes when her father gives her tips about her game, adding (unprompted) that he’s also a good assistant coach for the Eagles but he’s just short.
Jacob is a defenceman for the Clarington Toros U13A team. He was sporting a mullet during the interview because his team was about to play in the OMHAs, where they finished in third place. Asked if he planned to keep the haircut, he replied “maybe,” but his father overrode that decision explaining that it was just for the tournament weekend. Sounds like a bit of hair envy to me.
While Dalyn and Jacob were interviewed separately, both mention Cole Williamson as a favourite player. Dalyn observes that he’s a fantastic defenceman but also plays pretty great offensively. She noted that Williamson had scored a big goal that night against the Uxbridge Bruins. In addition to Williamson, Jacob appreciates the play of forward Jordan Shaw.
Both Fairey kids help the Eagles by recording team statistics and tracking shots at games. Jacob enjoys just getting to help the team, but Dalyn helps out for another reason. “Cause I get paid.” I love a girl who knows the worth of her contributions!
Jacob says that the Eagles are playing “pretty good” this year, and he is confident that they will win the Schmalz Cup. He has offered sage advice for the team, “Keep the pace going and don’t stop.”