Friday morning I met with the coaches of the Grand Rapids Public School hockey team, Brian Bellgraph and Andrew Hall.
They also head the committee that sets up the youth hockey portion of the Meijer State Games of Michigan in the summer.
The same commitment they throw at the high school team, which struggles with financing and participation, they put into this event.
It’s not about winning, but putting together a memorable event for kids across the state of Michigan. It’s also based on regions, so that the players are mixed with other players in their area and helps foster more of a community.
Although usually the biggest problem of hockey is the parents. And they also hope this can bring together that aspect of the game as well.
The other part that is awesome about the tournament it’s for the tier 2 players; the kids who don’t get the chance to play travel hockey, but can show off their skills.
It’s unfortunate that they have some hurdles, including monetary, to overcome, but they continue to push forward.
This conversation will be further detailed in an article in MI Hockey Magazine.