The Columbia Valley Rockies are seven weeks into their regular season and it’s been a slow start for the team. Before last week’s back-to-back wins, they’ve come out on the wrong end of games that ended regulation time in a tie and they’ve lost some other close ones. They’ve also suffered some bigger losses. So the question is often asked, what’s wrong? I believe the short answer is “nothing”.
This is a very young team with few veterans. Do you all remember the early months of your first year away from home? Many of these boys are only 17 and are experiencing life on their own — or what they think is on their own — for the first time. They’ve played hockey most of their lives, generally with lifelong friends, and have done most of their travelling to tournaments with their families. Mom and/or Dad has been there making sure they are eating, sleeping and generally well-looked after. Now, all of a sudden, they are hundreds of miles away from family members, staying in a home with strangers who cook and eat differently, sleeping in a new bed and missing their best friends (and perhaps girlfriend) too. Not even a brother or sister to fight with. New coaching, new home arena, new lines, new teammates. These things all take time to adjust to. And adjust they will. They are making new friends and learning new systems.
The Rockies as an organization ask much from the community. They rely on sponsorship from many area businesses. They also give a lot back, providing entertainment and a place to go on weekend evenings for hockey fans of all ages. Many of the players have jobs in the community and, of course, the dollars they require in order to live are spent here by billet families as well as the players themselves.
As members of this community-owned team, the players also take part in local literary projects and school reading programs. They help out at the thrift store and the Christmas Bureau with heavy lifting. If you have an odd job that needs doing, they will be happy to help you out. The wood lot that is operated by and for the team supplies the firewood that many of you use over the winter months.
I think I mentioned in the last Rockies Talk that the Parents and Family Weekend was a win/win/win for the team, family and community. The Columbia Valley Rockies provide a win/win situation for the team and the community regardless of the team record. It’s gratifying to see a large number of fans out to support these young men at their home games. They in turn are working hard to win games while providing a great evening of entertainment for the whole family.
The next home game is a Friday night on November 14th — see you at the Eddie!
Marilyn Berry contributes a bi-weekly column regarding the Columbia Valley Rockies Junior B hockey team and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.