London Cobras A/AA Peewee Blue team
(Left to right) Coaches: Trevor McNichol, Steve Smith, Jorel Price. Missing: Brian Van Brenk. Back row: Ross Tuttle, Ethan Tran, Blake Whyte, Isaac Tran, Spencer Heinrichs, Matthew Branston, Evan Cox, Lucas McLellan, Jackson Beattie. Middle row: Owen Marche Bastarache, Kalel Price, Logan Smith, Broden McNichol, Nolan Mosher. Goalies: Harrison Rogers, Dan Van Brenk. Missing: Brayden Fieldhouse.
Getting a new team to mesh well together can be a difficult task. Not so for the London Cobras Peewee Blue team, who play in the Ontario Rep Hockey League (ORHL). Despite seven new additions to the 17-player team this season, the Cobras have come together remarkably well – and quickly.
“The biggest accomplishment we’ve had to date is taking kids who have played together and putting them with kids who haven’t, and creating a unit that functions well together,” said Steve Smith, the team’s head coach.
And it’s made everything flow easier, which should lead to a lot of success for the Cobras throughout the 2017-18 season. On tap are a couple of upcoming tournaments, one in London and one in Buffalo, and the Cobras are hoping to earn wins in both. In the early going, one of the team’s strengths has been its passing game. The players, Smith says, have realized that it’s not an individual game, and they’re working well together. They’re also a resilient bunch.
“They have a ‘never say die’ attitude,” said Smith, who has been involved in minor hockey for 25 years (coaching for 15) and is in his second year with the Cobras. “Not one of them gives up on the ice, even when we’re behind. They do a great job boosting each other up, and they’re really turning into more of a family than a team, which is the end goal.”
It takes more than one coach to bring together a team, and Smith is quick to credit many others who are playing significant roles this season in helping the Cobras success – both on and off the ice.
“On the bench, I have the pleasure of coaching with three other great men, Trevor McNichol, Jorel Price, and Brian Van Brenk,” Smith said. “And then, of course, there’s our manager, Victoria Price, who does more work than all of us.”
Contributions by Steve Smith and photo by Vi Tran
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