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Islanders pulling double duty at Canada Games

Brothers Ben, left, and Logan MacDougall are staying in Winnipeg for the second week of the Canada Games.
Brothers Ben, left, and Logan MacDougall are staying in Winnipeg for the second week of the Canada Games.

WINNIPEG, MAN. – Four Island athletes are staying in Winnipeg to compete in the second week of the Canada Games.

Baseball players Logan MacDougall, his younger brother Ben MacDougall and beach volleyball player Ethan Boyd, all of Summerside, will join the indoor volleyball squad while mountain biker J.T. Nicholson of Cornwall will compete in road cycling.

“Week 1 was a lot of fun, but now it’s over, (so) concentration is kind of on Week 2 now,” Logan said Friday morning. “We’re really looking forward to Week 2. Now we kind of know what it’s like (from) Week 1.”

Not many people get to play at the Games, fewer get to play both weeks and even fewer can say they did it with their sibling.

“It’s special,” Ben said. “It’s a long time here, but it’s also a fun time.”

Week 1 athletes were scheduled to leave Winnipeg Saturday morning while the rest of the Week 2 contingent, consisting of 105 athletes, 29 coaches/managers and four mission staff, arrive later today in Winnipeg.

“We’ve been training with the same team for a year and a half now and become really good friends, so it’s tough to see them go,” Logan said of his baseball teammates, “but I’m sure we’re going to see each other at home.”

While Island athletes have been to national championships before, attending a multi-sport championship is different. There are more social opportunities and there are more people in the stands and around the athletes’ village.

It can make for a tough transition, but Ben said they would be able to spread their knowledge with their teammates.

“We’ll be familiarized with the campus a lot more than the other guys, so it’s easier that way,” he said.

The MacDougalls grew up playing sports together at home, whether it was throwing the baseball around or playing one-on-one basketball.

“I think that really helped me with my motivation and determination to win because I always wanted to beat him,” Ben said.

They haven’t played on the same squad in about five years.

“It’s nice to be on the same team. Its definitely more convenient for travel for our families,” Logan said. “It’s pretty special.”

Their parents are in Winnipeg and the family will spend the today together as this is turnaround day at the Games.

Both of the MacDougalls have memories that standout during the first week.

For Logan, it was beating their rivals from New Brunswick in the second day of the Games. Ben recalled a 1-for-3, two RBI game against the host Manitoba squad at Shaw Park in a contest broadcast live on TSN.

“It was special,” he said. “I’ll get home, watch that on TSN and have a few memories from that game.”

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