Complete team effort keeps Lady Coyotes moving forward
In fact, the mission and vision statements have not changed at all since Day 1.
“We are committed to provide girls within AZ and the Rocky Mountain District region with a safe, competitive environment while promoting the enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of hockey,” reads the statement. “We advocate USA Hockey core values and support Arizona Amateur Hockey Association’s stated purpose. In addition, encompass partnerships with all hockey associations in the state of AZ.
“Our vision as an organization is to: develop, grow and expand a sustainable competitive hockey program for girls through their senior year of HS. Create a positive team environment while competing on a national level and support for those who choose to pursue their goals of playing hockey at a collegiate level.”
Sarah Dennee, the founder and president of the Lady Coyotes (pictured), said that seeing the program grow and to be able to add new staff members has kept her job fun.
“When I founded the organization, I was the primary go-to person for all things AZ Lady Coyotes,” said Dennee. “You name it, I did it – recruiting players, securing coaches, scheduling practice ice, games and tournaments, communicating with families, managing the team, and running the business side. Expansion and growth was amazing and beyond words. It also meant that the association would need more help if we were going to do this right.”
Dennee oversees the organization and performs many of the day-to-day operations.
Vice president David Daniele works closely with the program’s coaching staff and other volunteer personnel and will help with day-to-day operations, such as communication with families and assisting with team management.
“My responsibilities on the board for the upcoming season are to work with the coaches to ensure they are getting the resources they need from the board,” said Daniele. “Throughout the season, the needs of the teams and coaches can change and I will ensure we do what we can to support them.This is an important line of communication as in the end, our players benefit and that is why we are here.”
Additionally, Daniele helps manage the AAHA-sponsored free girls clinics going on this summer – 70 girls of all ages have come out to the clinics thus far.
Jennifer Triant serves as the secretary and in addition to her board duties, she is now the Lady Coyotes’ Arizona Youth Hockey League (AZYHL) representative and will assist with USA Hockey registrations.
“As a member of the board, I may not be able to tell you how to shoot a puck, but I know how other things work from a bigger picture,” said Triant. “I guess the bottom line is that now I feel a bit more connected to the main thing in my family’s life and it gives me an outlet to also feel like I’m making a difference in something bigger than I am.”
Rick Dennee is managing the team accounting and assists with the organization’s business side, while Kevin Benson is the growth and development rep. He will be working with other organizations and exploring different ideas on how to grow female participation, not only for the Lady Coyotes, but Valley-wide.
Former board members Mark Lackey and Diane Mroczek are now the tournament directors (even though both of their players have moved on), Sharon Enck manages the Lady Coyotes website and social media, Carrie Peterson oversees concussion testing for all of the players and Amy Steinman handles uniforms.
“Then there is our coaching staff, which is in our opinion, second to none,” Dennee said. “Many of them spend their personal time on the ice with our players to help develop their skill. Everyone involved wants to see the organization succeed, thrive and grow. It is wonderful to have different ideas coming to the table and being able to implement those to help build on the foundation.”
– Matt Mackinder