Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 24 : Spring 2015 - Page 15

commitment to hockey by David cowley Hockey families are exactly that, families. These teams are comprised of an extremely dedicated group of parents, players, grandparents and siblings. The entire unit has to be on board because it is a commitment. Hockey parents are easily the most dedicated parents anywhere, hands down. These players need to rely on mom, dad, relatives or other teammate’s parents to help get them to and from the 50+ games, 60+ practices and dry land training sessions. Now just about every family has at least two children playing, and we have several families with three kids playing in different age groups. Now try and juggle this schedule of practices game, etcetera. You will have one parent going an hour north into Canada, another an hour east into Canada and then a grandparent going to Bangor two to three hours south. What’s funny is that everyone LOVES it! It’s simply a way of life, and when you ask, most they say they wouldn’t have it any other way. Because of our small association, it takes many volunteers to make things work. Parents of the players will wear three, four,or even five hats. Volunteer examples are coaches, referees, board members, clock runners, fundraisers, team managers, equipment and jersey keepers and then some, and nobody gets paid. Recently, I recall we were hosting a peewee tournament and several of us were refereeing, coaching, running the clock and administrating all in the same morning. This is what it takes, dedicated volunteers. This year we have youth hockey players in the 11-13 year old range learning to give back in the capacity as coaches helpers with our youngest players and we have a few 12-13 year old USA Hockey certified referees who work the Mite or Squirt games. Very seldom does a day go by that I am not scouting possible new youth hockey players from within our area. Most parents would love for their kids to play and the kids would love to play, but barriers such as financial cost and the p