Arizona Rubber

Arizona’s and New Mexico’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

Flagstaff ‘excited’ to field 16U, 18U AA teams in ’16-17

 

Flagstaff NorthstarsEnthusiastic confidence is coming out of the Flagstaff Youth Hockey Association (FYHA) these days.

This fall, the FYHA will have a Midget program with plans to add 16U and 18U Tier II teams, something new president Kevin Tye said “is exciting to finally see come to fruition.”

“We’ve already had tryouts and both teams are in the process of finalizing their rosters for the upcoming season,” said Tye. “We’re getting letters of commitment from excited families. People all over Arizona are really getting behind this. We have even had interest from several players in the Valley. It’s just an exciting time for us here in Flagstaff.”

Nick Karastamantis will coach the 18U team and has also been named the Northstars’ midget program coordinator. Zach Fader is set to be behind the bench of the 16U team.

Tye said FYHA had a Midget program years ago and it’ll be a boon for the organization to play at that level again. He noted that both teams will play upwards of 50 games, including potentially some prestigious tournaments in the region. Each team is also anticipating to be on the ice at least three times a week at the Jay Lively Arena.

“Nick has played a lot of hockey and he’ll definitely educate these kids and their families on why playing 16U and 18U hockey is the proper progression for those kids that have aspirations of moving on,” said Tye. “He’s just as excited as the rest of us and we can’t wait to get going.”

In addition to Tye taking over for Dave Bereson as club president, Reuben Gibbs, Jamie Miele, Emily Mokelke and Justin Loxley are new FYHA board members. Completing their terms in 2015-16 were Bereson, Ken Brendel, Jennie Palmer and Kristi Smith.

“Those four did so much for our association,” said Tye. “The future is bright in Flagstaff and they are a major reason for that.”

— Matt Mackinder