By Ryan McCracken on May 23, 2015.
The rising CFL star was joined by 28 league alumni Friday afternoon at the Medicine Hat Golf and Country Club for the 17th annual CFL Alumni golf tournament, and Hatter Tim Galbraith was lucky enough to swing alongside him.
â€œItâ€™s cool. Itâ€™s good to be the only team to get an active player,â€ said Galbraith. â€œHeâ€™s been shooting good, a little bit to the right but heâ€™ll straighten it out Iâ€™m sure.â€
â€œYou get to know people pretty quick golfing and itâ€™s fun to get to know new people in my hometown. Iâ€™m having a great day,â€ said Coehoorn. â€œIt feels good. Anytime I can get back to the hometown itâ€™s a good time. I get to see some family and itâ€™s a nice day for golf too.â€
The event raised an estimated $70,000 for the United Way of Southeastern Alberta. Former Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders running back Craig Ellis helped found the event 17 years ago in cooperation with Drew Barnes, who was president of United Way of Southeast Alberta at the time. The stars aligned, and Medicine Hat has been home to the event ever since.
â€œI was on the board with the Edmonton Eskimos and we were looking to find out what the other clubs were doing for the alumni association in the community and I talked to Drew,â€ said Ellis.Â â€œI said, â€˜you know what, if you can have a place to meet, we can bring guys in and weâ€™re at your disposal.â€™ They did a fabulous job of putting this thing together.â€
Ellis has attended every tournament in Medicine Hat except for one, but the former CFL great had a very good reason.
â€œI missed one time for my daughterâ€™s graduation,â€ he said. â€œI think back now and I almost missed her graduation but Iâ€™m glad I didnâ€™t.â€
Medicine Hatâ€™s Ivan Long had the opportunity to play alongside Ellis for 18 holes Friday. While heâ€™s a devout B.C. Lions fan, Long says he was willing to let his allegiance waver for an afternoon on the links with Ellis.
â€œI am a huge Lions fan, but for today Iâ€™ll be an Edmonton and Riders fan because those are his teams. I donâ€™t want him to kick me right out of the cart,â€ Long said with a laugh. â€œItâ€™s been amazing. Heâ€™s a great golfer and heâ€™s got lots of good stories.â€
Ellis added he always embraces the chance to converse with fans like Long, and get to know those who help put on the event each year.
â€œThatâ€™s what this is all about,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s all about helping out the community and the United Way does some fabulous work around here, so thereâ€™s nothing better than ex-CFLers joining up with the United Way.â€