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Thursday, January 18, 2007

The smile said it all

Dan Wildfong was on top of the world and his smile said it all.
The eight-year Bossier-Shreveport Mudbug not only played in Wednesday night's All-Star Game at CenturyTel Center, he scored a first-period goal, too.
When Wildfong entered the ice during pregame introductions, the electricity was enough to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. I was on the Northern Conference bench and the chills ran through me.
Why? Because you knew how much it meant to him.
He loves this place and loves these fans. He's not the most talented guy in the world, but works his rear end off every night. He's an absolute pest on the ice, but off the ice he's the nicest guy you would ever want to me. Despite the leadership he's portrayed while with the Mudbugs, the crucial performances he's given his team and his outstanding presence in the community and charity work, Wildfong still has no idea why everyone loves him so much.
Oh by the way, his All-Star jersey went for $2,200 in the postgame auction.
He never thought for a second he deserved an All-Star selection, but he embraced it unlike any other player.
Mudbugs defenseman Jason Basile and goaltenders John DeCaro and Ken Carroll likely have multiple All-Star appearances ahead of them, but this will no doubt be the last one for No. 10.
What a night it was.
Now it's back to reality and the pursuit of that elusive CHL championship. But he will not forget Wednesday night, when he sat speechless at his locker after the Northern Conference's victory. That rugged face and those pearly whites -- yes, the not-so-real ones, were shining bright.
Just like he has for eight years.


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