It has been a busy summer for Marc Ward, the General Manager and Head Coach of the Columbia Valley Rockies.
Ward has moved to Invermere in preparation for the season and is pleased with the way things have been going since being hired.
“Things are going good. We are starting to do some upgrades on the dressing room and lounge for the players as part of getting prepared for the new season,” Ward said.
Ward said the improvements are just part of a bigger plan to have things organized to the point where he wants things to be, heading into training camps and the 2011-2012 season.
“It is going okay. I have been doing a lot with the players in the start and now that I am out here full-time I will be contacting the players who I have invited to camp again. It is important to stay in touch with them heading into camp,” Ward said.
Though there are no names mentioned, Ward said he has been in contact with some local players and has plans to meet with them over the next few months.
He added that he has been scouting and talking to some players in Calgary as well, along with giving them the information they need to understand what makes this league different from similar leagues in Alberta.
“It is about educating the players. Players there do not know about the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). They see Junior ‘B’ in Alberta and it is night and day to Junior ‘B’ in B.C. Having them realize this is a high level of hockey is a key,” Ward said.
As for what the team will be like this year, Ward has an idea in his head of the identity he hopes the Rockies will have this year.
“What we need is strong character and strong fitness. You can develop the skills and the talent. There will be kids with more talent but we are looking for the great group of kids that will develop that winning environment that we want,” he said.
Rookie camp for the Rockies is scheduled for July 29-31 with a full camp happening in August.