The Pee Wee Lakers capped off a successful season with a league championship title over the weekend.
“It went really well,” Coach Jody Junk said. “We ended up playing Rocky Mountain House in the final and we battled them all year so it was pretty cool to play them in the final. It was nice for the kids to get the league win.”
The game finished with the Lakers’ sealing the victory 6-4 over their Hwy. 11 rivals.
“It has always been a rivalry with Rocky and it was good to get the win,” Junk said. “We had an amazing group of kids. They were great to work with those kids. We learn as much from them as they do from us.”
For Junk, winning came secondary to the time he and his coaching staff got to spend with these young people.
“To see them develop throughout the whole season is pretty cool,” Junk said. “We focus on skills and drills throughout the year and to see them use all of those skills at the end was really nice to see.”
Indeed, the future of minor hockey is strong in Sylvan Lake – something Junk credited to Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey.
“Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey is a good organization and this group of kids is really special,” he added.
Junk credited part of the success to his coaching staff Derek Weimer, Shawn McKinnon and Don Rattray.
“We had an amazing group of coaches,” Junk said. “We were on the same page all year coaching by committee.”
Junk sees a bright future for this group of hockey players.
“I think they will be great in the future if they stick together,” he said. “A lot of them are good buddies and they will do great in the rink but they’ll accomplish a lot of good things in life as well.”
The program will be strong next year as well, with only about half the team moving onto bantam.
Junk wanted to thank the Lakers’ Team Manager Georgina Welsh for all of her time spent helping this team succeed.
“She makes the job for us coaches real easy,” he said, adding, “We had a great group of parents that cheered the kids on all year long.”
Being able to spend time with other families is what minor sport is all about for Junk.
“I am more into the team thing so winning was great at the end, but the overall success throughout the year with the kids, parents and coaches was the biggest thing,” Junk said. “Now its time to get out the golf clubs, bikes and the baseball gloves so they crave hockey again next fall.”