IHAAZ standouts stay rolling at summertime California NARCh event
Although the IHAAZ season wrapped up in May at the state finals, that didn’t mark the end of the year for many players from the league.
Several teams from the popular roller hockey league had players competing in the NARCh West Coast Nationals in California earlier this summer. The tournament took place June 21-July 1 at THE RINKS -Irvine Inline.
The Outcasts (pictured) won the gold medal in the 12U Squirt Division behind the efforts of players from the Jr. Wildcats and the Yuma Blaze.
Dom Barber, Liam Wilde, Rachel Crabb and Eli Shulman represented the Jr. Wildcats on the squad, while the Blaze was represented by Trevor DiCori and Cole Gephardt.
The Outcasts Black 16U team won the silver medal in the Bantam division. Benji DiCori was the lone Blaze player on the squad and the Royals White had two players on the team in Jackson McBride and Luke Yubeta. Cody Case of the Royals Blue also played on the team.
Four other teams won bronze medals in their respective divisions.
The 10U Mite Platinum level team was loaded with players from the Knighthawks. Jayden Perea, Brandon Tessmer, Addison Noffsinger, Kye Friend, Nathan Kostidina, Blake Bur, Landon Jans and Reese Curry all represented the Knighthawks while Schulman from the Jr. Wildcats also played on the team.
The IHAAZ also had players competing on a team in the 14U Pee Wee Silver Division. That team won a bronze medal as well in the tournament.
Aiden Warner of the Royals, Coco Kaczynski, Wilde, Barber and Ranon Plett of the Jr. Wildcats and Justin VandeDerg and Jose Godina of the Blaze all played for that team.
The other two bronze medal winners were the Outcasts 01s in the Bantam Gold Division and the Outcasts 00s in the 18U Midget Platinum Division.
The Outcasts 00s had two IHAAZ players on it. Matt McBride from Royals White and TePas from Royals Blue both played on that team.
Two individuals were also recognized for their stellar efforts in the tournament. Jans was the top scorer for the Revolution from Northern California, which took second in the 8U Atom Gold Division and TePas earned top goalie honors in the Bantam Gold Division.
Nick Boyarsky, who is the IHAAZ tournament director, was glad players had an opportunity to compete in such a high-level event and believes the experience they gained playing in IHAAZ prepared them for success.
“IHAAZ has always been a good offseason training ground for the summer roller tournaments,” Boyarsky said. “This year, with our younger Outcasts teams especially, we looked to recruit those that are putting their time and energy into roller hockey, as well as ice in some cases, to form competitive Outcasts teams.”
Boyarsky said the tournament is an example of just how good development of talent has been in IHAAZ.
“Clubs like the Knighthawks in 10U and the Jr. Wildcats and Yuma Blaze in 12U and 14U have been developing some strong talent through their IHAAZ season,” Boyarsky said. “It’s that sort of development that will allow programs like the Outcasts to continue to succeed.”
Boyarsky said several of the coaches deserve credit for getting the talent level in the league to where it is today.
“Much of the credit is due to coaches like Matt DiCori and Jeff Johnson of the Yuma Blaze, David Sticker and Jeremy Hiltabidel from the Jr. Wildcats, Dustin Jans with the Knighthawks and Marvin Simmons, Nic Spinsanta and Brian McBride from the AZ Royals,” Boyarsky said. “Those individuals and many others have done such an amazing job building these young players.”
— Brian Lester
(Aug. 13, 2018)