Knighthawks rebrand as Cobras for upcoming ’19-20 season
Change is in the air in IHAAZ, and in a positive way.
The Knighthawks organization has turned over its program and the tournament it hosts to a group headed up by David Marmorstein and Marvin Simmons (pictured above during their playing days).
Marmorstein heads up the Peoria Sportsplex and has coached within the Knighthawks organization. Simmons is a former Knighthawks coach as well.
The team will be renamed the Cobras, a throwback to the Phoenix Cobras of the old Roller Hockey International in the late 1990s. The move brings stability to a program that had struggled with it.
Marmorstein and Simmons said they are excited about the opportunity to give back to a sport that has given them so much and have high hopes for the season ahead. They have been friends for a long time, growing up playing the sport of roller hockey together
“We have had a lot to focus on for the upcoming season, and first and foremost is establishing our coaching staff and training regimens to improve our players throughout the season,” Marmorstein said. “Another goal of the Arizona Cobras is to teach the next generation how to play roller hockey. We want to take players from a grass roots beginner level, and work with them to get them ready for the in-state travel level (IHAAZ).”
Marmorstein and Simmons currently run a free program out of the Sportsplex called Learn to Love Hockey. This new opportunity, which is held on Saturday afternoons, adds another layer to that development process.
“It is an individual skills clinic for beginner and developing players looking to improve and take their game to the next level,” said Marmorstein.
Marmorstein and Simmons were approached last season about taking over the Knighthawks. They didn’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity to do it. Their hope is to continue what the Knighthawks started.
“Marvin and I want to make the Arizona Cobras a program that is synonymous with Arizona youth roller hockey,” Marmorstein said. “We hope to do that by using the knowledge and skills we have accumulated over the 20 years of roller hockey experience. A few changes we want to make is having our players training more often and work on developing better teamwork than we have had in the previous years.”
IHAAZ tournament director Nick Boyarsky is excited about the change the Cobras have created.
“IHAAZ is excited to see the Peoria Sportsplex staff step up to the plate and get more involved with the series,” Boyarsky said. “There’s a ton of roller hockey history and talent in that building to guide the Cobras for years to come.”
Marmorstein said he and Simmons are looking forward to seeing the players in the program gain a great deal from the experience of playing for the Cobras.
“As a program, we want the players to learn how a team can accomplish things that an individual cannot – dedication, commitment and discipline are all irreplaceable skills in hockey as well as in life,” Marmorstein said. “We hope our players gain those skills from playing with the Cobras and have a blast while doing it.”
The chance to be involved in IHAAZ in a different capacity is exciting, said Marmorstein.
“We have been a part of the IHAAZ since it was AIHA when it started 20 years ago,” Marmorstein said. “I’ve played since the very first years of the AIHA and have been involved in Arizona roller hockey ever since. Marvin started in the AIHA a few years after me and has always dreamed of giving back to the sport that has given him so much. We look forward to our new leadership role in the IHAAZ and want to do whatever we can to help grow the sport.”
— Brian Lester
(Oct. 7, 2019)