On Sunday night, seven midget hockey players from Revelstoke – Grady Powell, Sammy LeRose, David Kline, Lane Bull, Tyson Sessa, Domenic Donato, and Jacob Ancell, drove home from Clearwater in celebration. Their team had just won the playoffs and is now headed to Cranbrook BC for Provincials over spring break.
Passionate about hockey and determined to play, these fifteen to seventeen year olds players have been commuting every Tuesday/Thursday and every weekend to Salmon Arm since september. There aren’t enough Midget players in Revelstoke to field their own team.
Each player tried out for the Tier 3 team and the Revelstoke contingent is a close bunch. Most have played played together on the same team for the past ten years. As a group, they have won five banners and this will be the fourth time they have qualified for Provincials and one Provincial title.
“These are great kids; good competitors and they find a way to win – they’ve got lots of character,” says coach and Revelstoke resident Stephen Bull. “They’ve worked out way up together, and I’ve been able to coach them all way through. Fortunately I was able to be able to jump associations and get involved on the Salmon Arm team.”
Hockey has been a part of Bull’s life since he was a kid. Bull played minor hockey before he moved into the Juniors in Saskatchewan, Invermere, and then to the Revelstoke Grizzlies. Since then, he has played in the Revelstoke Men’s League. His son, Lane, is on the Salmon Arm Midget Tier 3 team.
Hockey parents have to be invested in their kids sport, especially if it requires travelling out of town to be on a team. “We try to do a bit of ride sharing to cut down on how many vehicles are on the road, but it’s a big commitment for families if the kids want to play,” says Bull.
The team spent the season meshing and building their skills. “We got better all year long,” explains Bull. “Our first tournament we were third, the next tournament we were second. The third tournament we won. We’ve been turning in the right direction all season to lead up to Provincials.”
At the season playoffs, the team played three round robin games, which they won. They went against Clearwater in the finals, which they also won. The team from Winfield that won the league regular season had been previously undefeated. Bull’s team changed that, knocking Winfield out of the playoffs.
The team is excited to head to Provincials, and Revelstoke will be be cheering them on!