Update from Huntington Beach, and beyond.....
By Daryn Goodwin
Good morning from Huntington Beach! It’s almost 8am and games are about to start, which is rare for a tournament in Southern California. In any other market a 55 team tournament would be deemed a HUGE success, but this event is the baby brother to the Irvine Qualifier that is just a month away.
We were out of here before midnight last night and it’s nice not running 18-19 hour days. Not only nice for NARCh staff, but also the players, parents, and coaches. 55 teams are nothing to sneeze at, as many have just gotten off the ice and the heavy 4 -month roller hockey tournament season is officially on and teams are eager to get wheeling.
Walking around last night a few things came to mind. This weekend I spent a few hours going through old NARCh pictures, really old. 98-02ish. I came across pictures of Dylan Brunton, Shayne Arsenal, and Dan Maxwell in championship photos coaching teams. Here we are almost 20 years later, and these dedicated guys are still coaching teams, all for the Militia. Parents are lucky to have coaches with so much passion, experience, and knowledge.
What’s equally as cool, there’s young players from back then now grown up and coaching kids the same age as they were in those old NARCh Pictures. Guys like Skyler Hoar, Taylor Kane, Tim Kraus, Joey Doran, and Robbie Sudduth are a few that I've bumped into already here in HB . As the owner NARCh, it’s beyond cool to see the evolution.
As per usual, I was running around a bit last night trying to capture photos and videos. I always like to get footage up right away to get players pumped about playing in the tournament and also show people not at the event what they’re missing out on. I know everyone loves the Instagram posts, so I’ll try to get something up today with some of the footage from last night. A few saves stood out and goalies often take the bear the brunt in the videos, so some goalie love is probably past due.
I think pretty much every team in So Cal will be making their way up to the FINALS in San Jose in June. I’m not sure how many have Canada on their sights, but will get a better indication this weekend. I’ve made it as appealing as I possibly can, waiving the entry fee on the 2nd FINALS if you play both. Also, there’s never been a better time to visit Canada with the great exchange rate! I know things have changed a bit with so many kids traveling so much for ice and tapping out parent resources. Also having an AAU Event locally in July doesn’t help, but I can tell you that if you pass on Canada you’re missing out!
Whenever I post old pictures, kids that are now adults all say the same thing, “Those were the best times of my life and I’ll never forget that tournament.” I’m not trying to knock other tournaments, but when you play in the same local event every single year essentially against the same teams you always play, it all just becomes a blur and lacks that special tournament experience factor. You're only young once!