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A View from the Couch

A lot of people will remember the late Larry McDougall as a quiet unassuming man. He had a long and fulfilling teaching career at the DRCSS during which he also coached basketball for 32 years.
During that time, his teams won four provincial championships - 1975, 1976 and 1980 with the boys and 1987 with the girls.
Greg Southam, a player from the 1976 team, nominated McDougall for the Basketball Hall of Fame and it was announced last week that McDougall and his three boys championship teams would go into the Hall together in September.
But McDougall also had an impact on the lives of his players off the court.
In his nomination letter, Southam told the story of David Barber, who phoned McDougall late one night a few years after graduating from high school. He needed advice from someone he trusted and he turned to McDougall to help him with choices he had to make in his academic and basketball pursuits.
This will be the second time McDougall enters a Hall of Fame, as he was part of the Dauphin Redbirds team from 1958 to 1963 which was inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
Congratulations to McDougall’s family, who I know are thrilled with the announcement.
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The Dauphin Clippers hockey team will have some new, but familiar faces on the bench next season.
Rick Freese will return as head coach, while Josh and Curtis Yaschyshyn will join the team as assistant coaches. They will join the returning Ryan and Rob Dreger and Jason Alf.
Freese last coached the Clippers in 2015 after two years at the helm, while Josh Yaschyshyn is a former Clipper.
Look for the full story in next week’s Dauphin Herald.
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It’s a good thing armchair coaches don’t have the ability to make changes to their favourite NHL teams. If they did, we’d still be watching the 1990 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Why? Because none of the teams would have a head coach and the players would all be shuttling back and forth by being traded all the time.
That seems to be the common knee-jerk reaction when a team is eliminated from the playoffs. And that was the case, Saturday, when the Winnipeg Jets were knocked out by the St. Louis Blues.
Social media was bombarded with calls for coach Paul Maurice to be fired, and Blake Wheeler, Jacob Trouba, Dustin Byfuglien and Patrik Laine to all be traded.
Face it, St. Louis was the better team. If they weren’t, the Jets would still be playing.
Why the Jets lost is a matter of conjecture and, thankfully, it will be the team’s management and coaching staff that will decide on what changes need to be made.
Certainly, the Jets did not instill a lot of confidence in their fans by stumbling down the stretch. Their inability to hold onto leads late in games reared its ugly head once again in game five, a game many probably think they should have won.
Sometimes teams have to face adversity to get over the hump and become legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. Hopefully, this year’s early exit is just what the Jets need to take a run at Lord Stanley’s mug next year.
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Don’t look now, but the Toronto Blue Jays are on a roll.
The Jays are coming off a road trip which saw them win six of seven games, including the last four in a row.
That has them just one game under .500 and in third place in the American League East Division, 3-1/2 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays.
Many people, myself included, were expecting the Jays to struggle this year. And yes, it is still early, but an 11-12 record has to be considered a good start for the Jays.
The bats are beginning to come around and the starting pitching has been solid all season, for the most part.
And this is without the top prospect in all of baseball, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is expected to be called up from the minors before too long.
One can only wonder what effect he will have on the Jays once he enters the lineup.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER