Here is a look at what transpired in local sports action in 2018 in the Battlefords and area.
The Battlefords North Stars had another division-winning season in 2017-18, as they sought to repeat their 2017 Canalta Cup triumph.
The North Stars were led by their high-powered offence. Layne Young easily won the scoring title in 2018 with 107 points, with MacGregor Sinclair finishing fourth with 74.
The North Stars lost out in league semi-finals to the Estevan Bruins. In the end, wins and losses became irrelevant with the Humboldt Broncos bus crash tragedy happening just one day after the North Stars were eliminated.
The finals were eventually played, with the Nipawin Hawks winning the Cup in seven games over the Bruins.
Head coach and general manager Brandon Heck departed the North Stars in the off-season, with former Humboldt Broncos and Drumheller Dragons assistant coach Brayden Klimosko taking over those roles for the team. As the team heads into 2019, the North Stars remain one of the serious contenders in the league.
The Battlefords AAA Stars had a difficult 2018, as they finished tenth in the league and missed the playoffs. Early on in the 2018-19 season, they changed head coaches with Norm Johnston departing and with Brett Parker taking over. Parker had just been settling in as a new North Stars assistant coach that season.
The Battlefords Sharks were enjoying their best season in years as 2018 ended. In 20 games they had six wins and four overtime wins for 28 points, putting them fourth in female AAA league standings.
In senior hockey, the Meota Combines finally won the SPHL title, winning their best of five series with the Hafford Hawks three games to two.
Over in the Sask West Hockey League, the Wilkie Outlaws won their fourth title in a row.
High School sports
In high school sports it was a competitive season for the North Battleford Comprehensive High School Vikings, but they were unable to defend their 3A football title as they fell to Evan Hardy 42-8 in the playoffs.
John Paul II Collegiate Crusaders made it all the way to provincial nine-man 3A semi-finals before losing to Humboldt 23-15.
In six-man play the Hafford Vikings made it all the way to the 1A provincial title, beating Hanley 64-8 in the finals.
In the North Saskatchewan River league, the Border City Blue Jays won the title, beating the Lloyd Twins in two straight. The North Battleford Beavers lost out in the first round to Unity while the Battlefords Trappers failed to make the postseason.
It was another strong year for the Robyn Silvernagle team based out of North Battleford. They made the provincial women’s curling final for the second year in a row but lost again in the finals, this time to Sherry Anderson.
The Silvernagle team has since been invited to compete in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event, the Meridian Canadian Open, at the Civic Centre in January.
News that the city had landed the Pinty’s event for the second time had dominated the local sports news in 2018. The Northland Power Curling Centre also was host to a high-performance curling centre for top-level curlers in the province starting in August.
Saskatchewan Winter Games
The big sports highlight of the year in the Battlefords was the 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games. Opening ceremonies took place Feb. 18 and for the next week the areas recreational facilities were jam-packed with sporting events ranging from hockey and curling to bowling, skiing and snowboarding.
By the time the Games ended on Feb. 24 the host Rivers West district had ended up third in the medal count with 69. Saskatoon finished first with 108 while Regina had 89.