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U15 Rep team set for provincials this weekend in 100 Mile House

Hosting the provincials is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the first-year rep team
100 Mile Minor Hockey players Rocket Billy and Brodie Pecor get tangled up during a drill. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

100 Mile House’s U15 Rep team has come far in their freshman season of rep hockey.

Their coach Charlie Bridal said expectations were high from parents and players and it required lots of travel to get to different tournaments. However, all the effort was worth it thanks to the commitment of his players.

“This is one of the greatest groups of kids I’ve ever coached,” said Bridal. “I’m behind them 100 per cent. The group of kids we have this year is just unbelievable. To have them all get along just the way the year went - they’re a great group of kids.”

The team is finding rep hockey a big change partly due to the level of competition, plus, at the U15 Rep level of hockey body contact is allowed so body checking is introduced.

Bridal said he put on several clinics teaching the young players body checking through simulated drills: how to brace your body, the correct way to bend their knees, how to take a hit, and deliver a hit cleanly using their shoulder, not putting their arms up, keeping their arms in, keeping their body compact.

It was a lot of new skills for young hockey players to learn.

Bridal said he did not use regular season play as a gauge for how well the team is doing. They spent their season playing against Tier 2 and Tier 3 teams from Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association and Northern Hockey Association. 100 Mile is classified as a Tier 4 team.

Bridal said it was good for the team to be challenged and they have gotten progressively better all year.

“Where they’re at now is setting them up good for the provincials,” he said.

Hosting the provincials this weekend is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the first-year rep team, he said. When they walk into the arena this weekend they will look like a professional team with team jackets, shirts and bags.

In addition to fundraisers and donations, the U15 team has five major sponsors: Cariboo Traffic Safety, Ken Hall Contracting, PMT Chartered Professional Accountants, the jerseys sponsored by Omega-1 Contracting and White Stag Law, and Ray Carlson of Royal Lepage who made a donation at the end that helped pull it all together.

He added that the team can use all the community support it can get throughout the tournament. Bridal said they’re still in need of volunteers to help run the games.

Anybody else who has time could also head to the arena just to cheer the kids on. It can really boost their morale if they’re down a few points, Bridal said.

“You can tell the players ‘they’re cheering for you guys right now’ - it can pick them right back up.”

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Members of the 100 Mile Minor Hockey U15 Team watch Matthew Bridal takes a shot on net. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
100 Mile Minor Hockey U15 player Triton Fowler races along the ice during practice last Thursday. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Fiona Grisswell

About the Author: Fiona Grisswell

I graduated from the Writing and New Media Program at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George in 2004.
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