Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 24 : Spring 2015 - Page 9

Presque Isle Youth amateur hockey Hockey aroostook an overview by bob davis Aroostook Amateur Hockey (also known as Presque Isle Youth Hockey) was formed around the year 2000 when all youth hockey programs were taken over from the Presque Isle Recreation Department. Teams were formed in accordance with Hockey Canada and USA Hockey rules and regulations. We had to play in District 2 of Hockey New Brunswick because there were no other teams other than Houlton (45 miles away) that were in Maine and close enough to play. The next closest Maine teams were in Bangor, 160 miles to the south. There were seven Canadian rinks and minor hockey organizations in a 50 mile radius of Presque Isle, so it only made sense to play in Canada. They didn’t all mesh together seamlessly, but we worked together. the organization and spend countless hours coaching, planning, administering, keeping score, running the clock, registering players with USA Hockey, running to meetings in the US and Canada, washing and sorting uniforms, organizing new and used hockey gear for new players, taping sticks, fixing helmets, tying skates, drying a tear, driving to practices and games, attending and organizing fund raisers, and many more things. None of this comes easily. There are many challenges to running a program that has to meet the rules and regulations of organizations in two countries. Just the coaching requirements requires several hours each year in online classes covering everything from development of players to bullying to medical emergencies. This, of When PIYH first started there were only course, takes leadership at several levels, so four teams with about 10-15 players per recruiting and retaining the right people in team. Now that the organization was each position is critical. parent driven; fund raising, coaching, scheduling and play all improved. Parents As a parent of a child who is now 23, a talked positively about what was happening past president, a manager and current head at the rink; so friends, relatives and siblings coach of my grandsons team, I have been joined in the fun. Now PIYH has eight “around the horn” a couple of times. My teams with 122 kids playing along with 32 perspective now is a little different than certified coaches and managers. when I started, and I use that perspective to help parents deal with the frustrations “Where your treasure is, that’s where your and joys of having their child play heart is” is a famous quote, and it applies hockey. I impart to the parents right at to youth hockey in spades. Volunteers run the beginning of the season that I am not SPRING 2015 7