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Students share ice and classroom with Pontiacs

Grade 6 students from H.E. Bourgoin School had the chance to skate with, interview and get autographs from some of the Jr. A Pontiacs, while taking part in C-School at the Centennial Centre (C2) Jan. 25.
Grade 6 student Zachary Holloway eagerly looks on as Pontiacs forward Marc-Antoine Juneau adds the first signature to Zachary’s autograph book. Grade 6 students from
Grade 6 student Zachary Holloway eagerly looks on as Pontiacs forward Marc-Antoine Juneau adds the first signature to Zachary’s autograph book. Grade 6 students from H.E. Bourgoin school participated in C-School at the C2 all last week.

Grade 6 students from H.E. Bourgoin School had the chance to skate with, interview and get autographs from some of the Jr. A Pontiacs, while taking part in C-School at the Centennial Centre (C2) Jan. 25.

“It's so much fun,” said Madison Armagost, one of the students taking part in some of the skating drills, as part of C-School. “We're learning to skate and play hockey from the players … The Pontiacs are really good teachers.”

After their time on the ice with Pontiacs Jake Towriss, Julien Laplante, Connor Creech, Ty Carey and Chad Crawford, the students moved back into the classroom for an interview and autograph session.

Towriss sees opportunities like C-School as a good chance for the players to give back to the community. “It's a good experience, the community does a lot for us, and so any chance we get to give back we like to take it.”

Joining the students in the classroom were Pontiacs Ryan Kearns, Marc-Antoine Juneau and Redford Swan.

The three Pontiacs answered some tough questions from the Grade 6 class, including who the toughest team to play is, (Spruce Grove), and what the funniest thing to happen on the ice was, (Gatorade bottle thrown on the ice).

The players also explained the benefits of playing junior hockey and the opportunities, including university scholarships, which can come with hard work and dedication.

For many of the Pontiacs, this was a chance to speak with students and even offer advice.

Swan, who was speaking in front of students for the first time, said, “(I had) maybe a little bit of nerves at first, but it's fun. It's a good feeling getting in front of the classroom.”

Following the mock press conference, students pulled out their sticks, gloves and jerseys to be autographed.

Some students, including Zachary Holloway, started an autograph book to fill with signatures. “This is great!” exclaimed Zachary, as he got his first three autographs in his book.

C-School has been in operation the past four years and tries to incorporate the C2 with hands-on learning for students, according to C-School teacher Amanda Forster.

Students from different schools in Bonnyville and the surrounding area can attend the school for a week at a time and experience much of what the C2 has to offer, while integrating it into their regular curriculum.

“The kids are learning a lot and seem to be really happy to be here,” said Forster.