Kicking off a New NARCh Season!
By Nick Boyarsky
A new year means a new roller season and even though the club names and some of the uniforms look the same, the divisions are all new. Teams on their high horses last season at the top of one age group are remembering what it’s like to play kids a year older again. Pee Wee and Bantam particularly are seeing this first hand already today.
The next 4 days will mark the largest team count of a NARCh Winter Nationals Event since the early 2000’s when NARCh Winter Nationals used to go double weekends in Las Vegas. This MLK weekend, 140 teams will be playing between 6 surfaces with the majority being at The Rinks Huntington Beach today through Monday while 40+ games Saturday and Sunday will get played at The Rinks Irvine. It made for a Rubik’s Cube of an adventure making the schedule, but with some hard work and cooperation from everyone playing, we were able to pull off an event of this size at two
It’s going to be an unreal event, and for sure has a “Nationals” feel with teams from not just Southern California, but a ton from all over Northern California, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Hawaii, and even as far as BC Canada and Brazil. Beyond those teams, Black Ice from back east is here to shake things up. It’s also great to see some faces that made long journeys to play with teams here.
Among those who made that trip is Larry Adegoke who will not only light up some goalies with the Tour Mudcats in Pro, but is also here helping us do some important market research to learn what NARCh players and parents are thinking about the sport of roller hockey, the equipment you’re using, and your thoughts on what we at NARCh are doing well, and what we could do to make NARCh even better. Larry’s working his way through the HB facility all weekend with questionnaire’s to fill out so if you see him, ask if you can participate. Those who do will walk away with a nice pair of NARCh socks for their efforts.
Two other faces that traveled in for the weekend are the Yoder Brothers (CJ and Jami). The two long time staples in the sport are here giving back by coaching, as they’ve been doing for years; CJ with the Stallions from Colorado, and Jami with the KIHA Warriors from Hawaii. Winter Nationals for them is not only a chance to participate in some great hockey for their teams, but also a nice little family reunion. I’m not sure if Jami is playing while he’s here, but I know CJ will be lacing ‘em up for the Mudcats. Even though he may be twice the age of some of the younger stars in Pro right now, he’s still in my humble opinion the smartest guy on the floor and a threat to his opponent every shift he takes.