COVID-19 Close-up: Scott Barnes
Scott Barnes, owner/coach Thorold Blackhawks
What would you be doing at work now if the pandemic hadn’t hit? We would have just had our rookie camp a few weeks ago, then we would probably have some more skates to evaluate some players and then take a team to some tourneys to look for more talent. I would also be in full swing with my summer hockey development working with players of all ages.
What are you doing now? Since the world shut down basically I have just been a stay at home dad, looking after my boys Chase (4) and Ryker (2). Lots of hockey in basement, hitting golf balls into the field, bike rides, trail hikes and dog walks. But I was able to start going back on ice with small groups last weekend so it’s nice to get back at it a bit.
What is the biggest obstacle to doing your job during the pandemic? Just not being able to see players on the ice that I have not seen before and meeting them face to face.
What do you miss the most about the pre-pandemic world of junior B hockey: Being at the rink, chatting with the players and coaches.
What do you miss the least about the pre-pandemic world of junior B hockey: Being in a freezing cold barn. (BPSN agrees with this wholeheartedly).
What is the biggest thing wrong with junior hockey that you can reveal without getting fired or demoted for your honesty? I think one problem is we don’t have enough qualified officials to referee junior hockey. There are a lot of good ones but there are a lot who just aren’t able to referee at our level.
Is there an easy way to fix the problem? Put more emphasis on attracting current junior, college, pro players to become officials.
Is there a hard way to fix the problem? Make it harder to get to the junior level, more steps, more courses. Also teaching the refs social skills and how to talk to players and coaches. Doesn’t have to be a me versus you mentality.
What would be one suggestion to make junior hockey better? I would take out the 16-year-old limit. There are a lot of good 16-year-olds every year that don’t play junior hockey because we can only take two a season. These are the kids who are trying to move up levels and we don’t allow them to.
Has the pandemic changed how you will approach your work? I guess the easy answer here is we have all leaned on technology to do our face to face meetings. I think maybe our league will continue these zoom calls instead of meeting in person every month. I don’t think anything will change for me personally though.
What is the first thing you are going to do when life returns to normal? Probably take the boys to a park or something.
What daily activity do you miss the most? Freedom to go to any where without it being closed or limitations.
What guilty pleasure do you miss the most? I wouldn’t mind hitting up a patio for a beer.
What is your favourite outfit to wear around the house if you are working from home? I am an athletic shorts and t-shirt guy.
What do you do to replace the time spent working with the kids? Playing with my own kids.
Are you mostly likely to be a hunk, chunk, drunk or Sasquatch when the pandemic ends? I would say Sasquatch although I shaved the beard. I said I was growing it until I could go back on the ice so that was last week.
What is the worst habit you have picked up during the pandemic? Clicking aimlessly through channels trying to find something to watch.
What is the best habit you have picked up during the pandemic? Started working out again. Just kickboxing, hitting the stand up bag in the garage and some weights. Lets me take out my frustrations with added benefit of maybe shedding a pound or two.
What is something good about yourself you have discovered during the pandemic? I can do without social media. I will check in every once in a while but I don’t need to see all the negative in the world or what everyone is eating.
What is something bad about yourself you have discovered during the pandemic? I don’t have as much patience as I think I have.
BPSN and the COVID-19 pandemic
Like all small businesses dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, BPSN is not sure what the business landscape will look like when things return to normal. Our website is financed primarily through advertising revenues and partnership agreements with many local sports and educational organizations in Niagara. Our goal is to continue providing our readers with the extensive local sports coverage you have come to expect from our site. Since our inception, we have written more than 2,800 stories on our local athletes and teams. Many of our readers have given us one-time donations or send us monthly contributions to help offset our costs. We would be eternally grateful if others would consider doing the same by using the Support Us button located on the right-hand side of our home page below the mosaic.
Thank you for your continued support.
Bill and Bernie.