Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Way to Go Sonics

This entry was published in the March 26, 2013 edition of the Kings County Record.  Since press time the Sonics lost in the cross-over game against Fredericton but despite that, the kids have created their legacy that they will talk about for years to come.  Way to go guys.  I really wish I had a good picture from my high school hockey days I could share, maybe on a later post.

High school was an exciting time for me.  It was an easy time too.  I had very little responsibility, I attended lots of social functions (a mature way to say parties), and I played a ton of sports.  I was a multi-sport athlete but my heart and soul went into playing hockey.  As luck would have it recently I was taken down memory lane and I wanted to acknowledge the contribution my high school hockey team had on me and now more recently, the current Sonic Boy's hockey team.
The 2013 Sonic boy's hockey team recently won the NB Southern Conference hockey championship and I want to congratulate them for that big victory.  I know how hard these boys worked to make that happen.  My Mom used to shake her head in frustration I'm sure as I would put twice the effort into hockey practice than my school work or chores.  The early morning practices twice a week, an afternoon practice, and then one or two games a week were physically demanding but I loved every minute of it.  The bus rides to St. Stephen with pranks and jokes and lots of heavily exaggerated stories, the excessively loud voices and laughter in the dressing rooms, and the warm up music all still sit fresh in my memory banks.  When I think about those days a smile creeps over my face and then I turn a little sullen as I think about what might have been.
In my senior year we came close.  We won the regular season championship only to be denied in the playoffs.  We were played out and struggled with injuries but made no excuses.  We won as a team and we lost as a team, thanks to all that time on the bus.  That group of guys, even today, likely feel a connection that will always be there because when one was disappointed we all were.
As I write this the Sonics are prepping to play a winner take all regional crossover game against the four time defending Provincial champions, Fredericton Black Cats.  Tonight I bet the boys struggle to get to sleep.  They'll be distant from those around them as they put their focus on the game ahead of them.  Right before the puck drops their stomachs will do a quick flip as their heart starts to race.  Once the puck hits the ice its game on and muscle memory, competitive drive, and adrenaline takes over.  The aches and pains from the regular season disappear for 60 minutes as they put the team before themselves.  There is little difference at this point between sweat and tears as their emotions are bared and raw.  Late in the game when their muscles can no longer push them, their emotions power them on, and allow them to find that last needed effort.
For the seniors it is so much more than just a hockey game.  It is a chance to create a legacy that will live in the halls of the school and the dressing rooms of the rink for years to come.  Win or lose the Sonic hockey team should be proud as they have already won a number of games but they have built up each other and made each other stronger.  Way to go guys.

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