By Patrick Martinez
As the last day of NARCh sneaks up on us there are so many amazing things I could cover. There were so many great games and many friendly faces over this time period.
As always, every time I attend NARCh I meet many new people from all over the country and overseas. The hockey world is small in some respect and there is much love among the players and families who reach out and help one another. NARCh builds camaraderie among the teams. Yes, you have your competitive games and heated battles on the rink. But at the end of the day off the rink the teams take the time to build new relationships and friendships. It is extra special to see the youth players build new relationships by playing against one another, participating in the skills competition, the hotel pools, and knee hockey in the hotel hall ways to name a few. The kids are the future of our sport and to see the many smiles on the faces of the kids before during and after their games makes everything so much more enjoyable for everyone.
Over the course the tournament I see and hear many things, mostly positive. The tournament directors not only are posting the scores on the boards and the internet, but they also attend to minor injuries, Game Misconducts, and most importantly offer customer service by managing by walking around. In this job you meet and greet players and parents everyday.
I would have to say that the most difficult division to keep an eye on is the Bantam Division. At this age some of the players have found a new vocabulary and think they can use it at will. Most coaches nip in the bud right away and discipline their players. Not only are we coaching and teaching them how to play hockey, but we are coaching and teaching them to be productive and respectful young men.
The over all experience this year has been fantastic! I look forward to Toronto and hope that every team makes an effort to attend next year.