Prior to the Saturday, November 1st Wildfire home opener vs the Lac St Louis Adrenaline Tara Gross was honoured as the team’s first player to appear in 300+ NRL league and playoff games. In a short ceremony, Wildfire Media & Community Relations Rep, Gerry Kraemer, presented Tara with a 300+ Games Certificate and several small gifts from local sponsors.
Tara, a native of the neighbouring city of Kitchener, began her NRL career in the fall of 2004, the inception of the Waterloo Wildfire and the NRL. She is the only player remaining on this year’s Wildfire roster from that original team. In actual fact, Tara reached the 300 game mark during the course of the 2013-14 season but recognition was delayed until this year’s opening night.
Tara began this season with 327 games played (293 regular season games and 34 playoff games). Exhibition games are not counted in the tally. Having played in all 6 Wildfire games to date, Tara will play her 300th regular season game vs Cambridge on Nov 9.
The team relies on stats kept by statistician Kraemer since the team’s inception. League stats have been posted since the 2007-08 season and are used in the calculations but NRL playoff stats are incomplete – they do not include, for example, the games played by the Wildfire at the NRL Championship in Charlottetown in 2009 or in Saskatoon in 2010.
Tara is not only remarkable for her longevity but also her consistency. In several of her 10 previous seasons (this is her 11th) Tara has attended every Wildfire game and practice. Although known for her fierce checking ability, she has scored more than 100 goals and amassed more than 200 points over her career.
The Wildfire salutes its veteran forward, #9 Tara Gross, and looks forward to others joining her.