Local dignitaries and flag bearers lead players onto the ice for the Sixth Annual Central B.C. Aboriginal Youth Hockey Tournament.

Local dignitaries and flag bearers lead players onto the ice for the Sixth Annual Central B.C. Aboriginal Youth Hockey Tournament.

Hundreds participate in youth tourney

For the sixth consecutive year, the Central B.C. Aboriginal Youth Hockey Tournament will be a weekend to remember.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Central B.C. Aboriginal Youth Hockey Tournament will be a weekend to remember for hundreds of players, parents, spectators and coaches.

Players spread across 13 teams — some from the region, others from around the province — competed in initiation, atom, pee wee, bantam and midget divisions  at the tournament. It began last Friday and wrapped up Sunday with finals at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

“It was a very successful weekend of hockey,” said Sheila Kelalst Booth, president of the CBCAYHT. “It was a great turnout overall.”

In the midget division, first place went to the Kamloops Young Bucks. Second and third place, respectively, went to Williams Lake Team 1 and Williams Lake Team 2.

For bantams, the Chase Warriors took the gold medal, while T’del Raiders finished second, the Stone Road Warriors nabbed third and the Prince George Bantams took fourth.

The pee wee division saw the CC Jr. Raiders, coached by Bruce Baptiste, take first, while the Williams Lake Colts rode to second, and the Quelmuc Assassins placed third.

The atom division went to the Stone Atoms, coached by Darnell Myers.

In the initiation division, beating out second-place Williams Lake Lil Tomahawks and third-place Williams Lake Lil Nations, were the Prince George Coyotes.

Kelalst Booth said each team was awarded a prize — along with first-place sweatshirts with this year’s logo contest winner for winning teams — based around the tournament’s anti-bullying theme. First, second and third-place teams were awarded trophies and medals.

“Prizes were pink skate laces and pink water bottles with the logo contest winner’s logo,” she said.

“Each logo had to incorporate an eagle, a raven and a bear into the design. We had up to 50 entries, and the committee reviewed all logos and was thankful for the number of entries.

Saturday’s opening ceremony, which featured players all marching out onto the ice together, was hosted by Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Ann Louie, along with MC Debbie Hance, and Kelalst Booth. Hand drummers Deidre Alphonse, Julianna Johnson, Irene Johnson, Henrey Johnson and Irvin Johnson helped greet the players as they came onto the ice, while flag bearers Wilfred Robbins, Fred Johnson and Rhonda Johnson led players out.

“Special thanks to all the coaches and families that brought their teams,” Kelalst Booth said. “Thank you to several volunteers that stood up this weekend volunteering with score keeping, time keeping, security, fire aid and the raffle table.

“It was a great pleasure hosting such a fantastic tournament — it’s truly a passion of mine. Seeing the smiling faces young and old, it was a fantastic, energetic and fun-filled weekend for sure.”

Kelalst Booth said the CBCAYHT is welcoming new directors and volunteers for next year’s tournament. Contact Kelalst Booth at 250-267-1007 or by e-mail at sheilabooth_2011@shaw.ca.