I?ve been reading your newspaper ever since I moved from Tumbler almost two years ago. I enjoy your articles and keeping up to date on the town?s happenings. But one area of interest in particular to me are the Smoky Blue Stars Atom Team. I was part of that team for quite a few years as Assistant and then Head Coach.
I met a lot of these kids when they were less than five years old and a couple even younger. I have to be honest and say that although I love reading about these kids, it kinda breaks my heart to know that part of my life is all but in the past. We grew very close as anyone would when you spend so much time and fun together. It seemed like we had the same parents and kids traveling together every season. A lot of heartbreaks and huge rewards were experienced by all. A lot of times we attended tournaments with only 7-8 children. ALOT of the time, these 7-8 kids were all we needed to bring home the gold! I used to compare us to the 80?s Oilers where no one liked us, no one wanted to play us, but we were the team to beat! I can still see the sweat and tears on those kids faces as they gave it their all each and every shift. Most of the time, I wasn?t their Coach, I was their friend. I was tough on them but they were tough on me and I hope we always remember and learn from those days. I hope they remember the first time we beat Chetwynd. The Championship win in Taylor. The silver medals and disappointments in Dawson, Chetwynd, and Ft. St. John. But my most proud weekend was when we won the 2010 Olympic Tourney in T.R.. No matter how much teams hated to play us, every team wanted to come to T.R. for our Annual Tourney. We had the best facility, town, organization, and people you could meet.
Our dads were ?face and eyes? into the games and practices. Our Moms were the ?heart and souls? of our club. You would think sometimes that we were running Canada?s Olympic Team by the way we acted sometimes, and I loved every second of it. I?m sure no other team had the camaraderie we did.
So in closing, I still think about T.R. every now and then, but I think about the kids and parents daily and I can never see me forgetting that. It?s hard to forget something that means the world to you and besides, I don?t want to. So good luck to the kids and hello to the parents, keep the smiles wide and the heads up!
P.S.- By the way…it?s Jay ?Killer? Kelly. :)