The junior street hockey program is making some major strides in LaGrange.
Coaches Glenn Cunningham and Brett Miolen have witnessed that for themselves in the past two years. The two mentors from the LaGrange Street Hockey League viewed some more signs of progress with the youth program on Sunday afternoon.
Miolen and Cunningham watched the Red team squeak past the Blue, 4-3 in overtime, in the Toys for Tots junior hockey match. Thirteenyear- old Dylan Stotsky powered through the winning goal from 15 feet. Stotsky scored three goals on the day for the Red team.
But he wasn’t the only star in the hockey rink at the Mike Daniel Recreation Center. A half-dozen boys and girls saw action in the junior street hockey match.
“This was a big deal. The kids were ready to go like the horses at the Kentucky Derby. The players were firing on all eight cylinders,” said Cunningham. “These kids are the future. They are learning to play with their head up. They are learning about stick handling. This is working.”
Girls were getting in the middle of the street hockey action, too.
“Our girls aren’t afraid. I saw one girl take a puck off her shin-pad,” said Cunningham.
Ava Ogle is one of those young local female street hockey players. Ogle is a fourth-grader, and she has been a junior street hockey player for the past 12 months.
Ogle has taken some lumps, but she has also dished out some pain. She is learning and playing the street hockey game, La-Grange style.
“I understand about offsides, and I like scoring goals. This is kind of hard, but it’s really fun. I like the running,” said Ogle.
Kimber Snelson played street hockey on Sunday, too. She stepped up. She hustled, and she competed.
Snelson is getting the fundamentals down, and she is learning the ins and outs of the street hockey game. The 9-year-old Snelson is not a spectator.
She is a hockey participant.
“I’m getting a lot of exercise. I’m having fun. I’m working hard, and I’m passing (the puck) to my teammates,” said Snelson.
Eight-year-old Spencer Varner of LaGrange is a rising hockey player, too. He can mix it up, as well as score. Varner is networthy.
“This takes a lot of running and shooting on goal. Hockey takes a lot of practice,” said Varner, who scored one goal for the Red squad.
Isaiah Montondo, a very athletic 11-year-old, is another fully invested youth street hockey player. He was back on the playing surface and in the game over the weekend.
“Hockey is fast-paced. It has always been my dream to go to the NHL (National Hockey League). This game takes agility and awareness. Hockey is pretty cool,” said Montondo.
He is the son of Frederick and Angela Montondo of LaGrange.
The author of this article can be reached via email at info@troupcountynews. net.