Friday, April 27th, 2007
Navy Vets out, Renegades in
An era is over.
For the first time in 42 years, the junior hockey team in Woodstock will not be known as the Navy Vets.
Instead, team owner Bill McLeod said Thursday the team has submitted an application to the OHA changing its name to the Renegades.
Pending expected approval, the move ends 41 years of association with the Oxford County Naval Veterans Association, which sponsored the team since its 1966-67 inception.
"It’s a sad day when the Navy Vets name doesn’t appear with the junior hockey team," said Sam Keeping, one of the Navy Vets’ founders and the first team president.
Keeping helped McLeod resuscitate the team after Steve Barber resigned late last season, but said Thursday his job was done once the Vets were eliminated from the playoffs.
"That’s the way he’s gonna go," Keeping said, "so that’s the way it’s gonna go."
OCNVA president Art Caravan and Bryan Bucholtz, past president, did not return messages left by the Sentinel-Review, but McLeod said the split was an amicable one.
The decision was made out of legal concerns after years of mismanagement, he said.
"I tried to work my way around it," he added. "My full intention was to keep the Navy Vets name. We tried some ideas but it’s just best that I go away from it."
The biggest change aside from the name will be the team’s colours and logo.
The famed anchor is gone, and a new one is being refined, McLeod said.
Traditional blue and white will be replaced by burgundy and black on the road, and burgundy and white at home, matching the seats at Southwood Arena.
"It looks good with the arena," he said. "When you walk into the arena you can say, ‘Hey, that’s the Renegades’ arena.’"
And the end of an era.