The Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association recently introduced its new president, Jonathan Jackson, who will oversee the organization’s operations for the 2011/12 season.
“Over the years I just seemed to get more and more involved with hockey, basically starting as a coach and then I got involved with refereeing, and at the end of last year there was a lot of discussion around girls hockey and the rep system and I just kind of got involved in the discussions,” Jackson said.
With two kids enrolled in the WLMHA — one in second-year novice and another who will be trying out for his second year on the atom development team — Jackson said it should be a natural transition to adjust to his new role.
Along with WLMHA rep co-ordiantor Sid Davis, Jackson said the organization is really hoping to make a couple of changes for next season.
“We’ve got a lot of great coaches back,” Jackson said. “We’ve got Sheldon Nohr back for midget tier 2, Steve Carpenter’s going to be our bantam tier 2 rep coach and peewee is Brad Thomas.”
New this year will be a bantam tier 3 team, which will be coached by Emil LaBossiere.
“The other big thing we’re really pushing for, which should be great, is there’s a lot of kids that could maybe benefit from playing on a tier 3 midget team,” Jackson said. “That would be a team that could develop for the tier 2 team the following year, with some younger kids.
“We’re trying to get away from teams having to play for their own future so tier 2 can be your older kids each year.”
In addition, there will be a peewee female ‘AAA’ team this year to be coached by Troy Weil.
Jackson said the girls program within the WLMHA is healthy and expanding.
“That’s exciting news,” he said. “We’re going to have our first female rep team. About one third of our players are female now, so there’s definitely a need there.”
While registration for the older age groups is wrapped up, the WLMHA is still hoping to get more tyke and novice players registered before the start of the season.
To help, the WLMHA is hosting some free ice time and providing coaching for kids who’ve never played hockey before, giving them a chance to try out the sport. For information visit www.wlmha.ca.
For the association’s rep divisions, tryouts begin Sept. 6 for midget players.
“It’s been a great start with our meetings so far this year,” Jackson said. “About half the people on the executive are new but everyone’s putting forward really great ideas and we’re all excited about the season.”