Sports built on relationships

Story by Jeff Gard/Total Sports Quinte

Whether it’s hockey, baseball or fishing, Connor Boates loves sports and the relationships that come with them. “I just like hanging out my friends and joking around with them, playing sports and being competitive,” he said.

Connor, who is 13, plays hockey for the Quinte West Golden Hawks U14 team. He’s played the sport since he was three years old and at the rep level since he was six. “I played hockey my whole life and he’s got an older brother who’s 16 that plays rep hockey here in Trenton, too,” his dad, Mike Boates, said.

Connor’s brother, Geoffrey, plays for the U18 Golden Hawks and is also an affiliated player for the junior C expansion Frankford Huskies. “(Geoffrey) has played his whole life so Connor kind of grew up in it,” Mike Boates said. “He was at the rink before he could walk. He’s grown into it and loved it ever since he could pick up a stick. He was never at the rink without a mini stick whenever he was there watching his brother.”

Connor plays right wing and loves scoring goals and celebrating with his teammates. His dad noted that while he’s always been a scoring threat on his team, Connor also excels in sportsmanship and hasn’t taken a penalty in three years. “My dream is to make it to the NHL,” said Connor, who is a fan of the Nashville Predators and Montreal Canadiens.

Away from the rink, Connor also enjoys baseball, which is another opportunity to play with friends. He typically plays second base and enjoys the opportunity to make big plays. Baseball, he said, can help with strength, hand-eye coordination and stamina.
“Mostly it’s just staying active over the summer so I’m ready for hockey in the winter,” he said.

Fishing has become another favourite activity in the summer. He’s now a junior sponsored fisherman and plans to enter multiple tournaments each year. He entered three last year, winning one and placing second in another in Belleville while also finishing as he runner-up at one in Trenton. His biggest catch to date is a six-and-a-half pound large mouth bass. “I’m not much of an outdoors guy,” Mike Boates said. “He’s kind picked this up on his own and something he really loves.” Connor enjoys “hanging out with my friends and talking with the people I fish with.” He hopes to enter four or five tournaments this summer.

The first order of business, of course, is completing this hockey season which has been a successful one for the U14 Golden Hawks. “I’ve been scoring lots of goals and assists and we have lots of wins,” Connor said. “We’re first place in the league.”

At the end of February, the Quinte West Golden Hawks led the OMHA Lakeshore League U14 ‘A’ division with a 21-4-2 record.

For Connor, teammates are the best part of the experience.“Just working together with my teammates,” he said. “Working out with my teammates and hanging out with them.”

U15 Golden Hawks to host OHF championship

Quinte West Minor Hockey will host the Ontario Hockey Federation U15 ‘A’ championship April 22-24 at the Duncan McDonald Memorial Gardens.

The OHF championship tournament features the winning teams from the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, Greater Toronto Hockey League, Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario and the Northern Ontario Hockey Association plus the host team which will be the Quinte West U15 Golden Hawks.
For updates about the OHF tournament and other news from the organization, visit