By Jeremy Ellis
Here it is the weekend and we are in full swing in Mens Gold and Silver. The families get to take the day off to enjoy the sights. Once again, we keep the division in mind with a noon start. Still, during the first games of the day there were quite a few yawns seen on the floor.
Whatever shape their body or head is in come game time, these guys can flip the switch. While this event provides a respite from the everyday grind and a chance to get away with ‘the guys’, they also come here to win. From New Zealand to Hawaii, California to New York, all points on the map are covered.
The division opened up yesterday and culminated with the division’s Skills Competition. We had a great turnout with over 30 participants. The Capitals from New Zealand were well represented and when the dust settled, the kiwis would hold the title of Top Goaltender and Top Sniper. With moves that will be talked about for a while, Lewis Taipa went to his arsenal of puck carrying antics to separate himself from the competition. Breaking all gender barriers in a NARCh first, female goaltender Kandra Manning was game for almost anything the men could throw at her. In the fastest skater, Missassauga Rattler Alex Derlis slithered his way to the title with times that improved each round.
With nearly 30 adult teams here this weekend, the volume of adults in the rink is massive. In fact, when the first Finals happened nearly 20 years ago, some of our current adult players were lacing them up for the mite, atom and squirt divisions. NARCh is one of the few tournaments in any sport that has this amount of longevity. Its run has allowed people to come full circle in the sport. From youth player to adult, to bringing their own kids for games, the adult divisions have often seen everything that NARCh has to offer. With the further development of our video crew pumping out highlight videos daily, there is now something to immortalize these guys for the post game adult beverage discussions.
The plan for teams is to win, but the camaraderie of playing in the event is a close second. There are stories every year of teams who haven’t seen each other in a year who come together for this one event. It can be akin to a wedding invitation, a once a year excuse to have a good time, see old friends and get a little exercise. One more day remains for this division until they call it a wrap for another year and we will miss the guys and all the stories they tell of off-rink adventures. Soon enough, you will be prowling the tiles of the over 35 circuit! Until then, good luck and thanks for continuing to play “The Worlds Greatest Roller Hockey.”