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Konixx Outcasts post landmark showing at NARCh West Coast Finals

 

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The Konixx Outcasts, Arizona’s longest-running inline hockey travel team program, sent a whopping 13 teams to do battle at this year’s NARCh West Coast Finals and skated home with four coveted medals. The tournament took place June 16-26 on three rinks at the Huntington Beach Inline complex in Southern California.

The Outcasts “hit” for the cycle in the medals department with two championships (Mite Silver and Bantam Club divisions), one second-place (Bantam Gold Division) and one third-place finish (Division 1).

The Outcast program fielded an impressive four Platinum-level youth teams at this year’s tournament.

“The future of roller hockey has been on a rocky path for the last seven years, but this summer our program hit a landmark with 13 teams participating at the NARCh West Coast Finals,” explained Outcasts program founder Nick Boyarsky. “I couldn’t have been more proud of all our players and coaches. This season showed us there is a strong path ahead in Arizona for the sport and the Outcasts program.”

Mighty Mites

Boyarsky listed the Outcasts’ biggest accomplishment at this year’s NARCh West Coast Finals as the championship in the Mite (10U) Silver Division. The Outcasts earned the third seed for the playoffs based on their 3-1 round-robin play record but went on to capture three successive nail-biters in the playoffs to soar over the division.

The spunky Arizona team dispatched, in order, the Delta River Rats (4-3 in overtime in the quarterfinals), Revision Revolution 05 (3-2 in the semifinals) and the Bulldogs Black (3-2 in overtime in the championship game).

Hoisting the championship trophy at the end of the day were Zakery Proud, Domonic Barber, Wesley Amos, Rachel Crabb, Luke Parker, Carson Kamin, Liam Wilde, Zachary Magby and J.T. Drum (goaltender).

Brent Proud and Wes Parker served as coaches.

“This team was all about playing together 100 percent,” Proud explained. “Every kid did their role and did it so well. We took a bunch of kids who were playing against each other (on various teams) in Arizona. They went out there — I was nervous they would be able to work together — but the trust was there. Everyone on the team supported each other. It was awesome.”

The elder Proud noted this was the first Outcasts team in this age division ever to win a NARCh Finals championship.

“For a team from Arizona, no team this young had ever won a NARCh cup,” the Outcasts coach said.

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Amazingly, and in a tribute to the team’s resolve, the Outcasts rallied from deficits in all three playoff games to post victories.

In the opening playoff game against the River Rats, the Outcasts trailed 3-1 at halftime. However, Barber brought the Arizona team to within one goal by scoring the opening goal of the second half and Amos tied the game with less than one minute to play in regulation. Zakery Proud collected assists on both key goals.

Crabb scored the game-winner about three minutes into overtime. It was a momentous goal both for Crabb and the team, the elder Proud noted.

“She doesn’t score very often, but she took the shot and beat the goalie low glove side,” Brent Proud explained. “There was a lot of celebrating. It was probably the biggest goal in her career.”

The Outcasts weren’t finished. Their next opponent was the only team that had beaten them in preliminary-round play, the Revolution, which, like the River Rats, also hailed from Northern California.

The semifinal game did not go into overtime but it was no less dramatic. The Outcasts trailed 2-1 at halftime. Barber took care of all the scoring for the Arizonans in the game with three goals. Two goals came in the second half to erase the one-goal deficit. Zakery Proud had two assists.

Barber’s game-winner came with less than two minutes left in regulation play.

That set up the championship encounter against the Bulldogs Black, a team from Southern California. The game proved to be a seesaw affair – tied 1-1 and 2-2 – before Amos gave the Outcasts the dramatic win with a clutch overtime goal.

“I can’t emphasize enough the role our defense and goaltending played,” Brent Proud explained. “The defensive tandem of Rachel Crabb and Zakery Proud, the defensive tandem of Carson Kamin and Luke Parker and the goaltending of J.T. Drum were stellar, just stellar defensively.”

On an individual note, Barber finished as the division high scorer with 17 goals and one assist (18 points). He also won the top sniper award in the division’s skills competition.
Boyarsky was obviously elated by the team’s gold medal performance. “It’s exciting for us to see the future of our program succeed this early on,” he said.

Championship run

The Outcasts Bantam Yellow team (pictured, top) competed in the Bantam (16U) Club Division playoffs, winning all three of its playoff match-ups against California opponents to hoist the championship trophy in its division.

The Outcasts edged AKS, 4-3, in its opening playoff game and then defeated the Revision Revolution 99s by a score of 5-2 in the semifinals. The Outcasts completed their gold medal odyssey by defeating the Raiders Green by a count of 7-2 on the scoreboard in the finals.

That team’s roster was comprised of half of the Outcasts’ Pee Wee 01 team (14U) and a group of first-year Bantam players (16U), according to Boyarsky. Luc Spinasanta, Carson Welch, Ryan Bottrill, Max Chase and Nathan TePas (goaltender) are all 2001 birth-year players, while Dennis Norris, Ryan Haveman, Collin Mackenizie, Griffin Sherwood, Gaven Entzminger and Jake Fain are all 2000 birth-year players.

The team’s coaching staff included Boyarsky, Nick Spinasanta and Marvin Simmons.

The Outcasts team rallied with a spectacular playoff run after recording a 1-3 round-robin record.

“This team knew they had a rough road, having to play very strong competition at the two NARCh qualifying events they participated in,” Boyarsky explained. “We stressed the learning experience of this and using that stronger competition to prepare them to play at their level come finals. The players did just that and as such came home with a cup.”

Best of the rest

The Outcasts Bantam Blue team competed in the Bantam Gold Division playoffs and placed second following a 3-2 loss to the HB Militia Black 01 team in the championship game.

After finishing 1-2-1 in round-robin play, the Outcasts defeated the Puckhog 99s, 5-3, in the semifinals to reach the championship game. The Puckhog and Militia Black teams had both finished 3-0-1 in round-robin play. Moreover, the Pughog team entered the playoffs with a plus-10 goal-differential.

But the Outcasts proved high achievers.

The team’s roster included Grant Ziegler, Michael Bloom, Chase Steele, Connor Bottrill, Mason Parker, Kyle Decoster, Matt Mcbride, Cole Golden and Garret Ruby (goaltender). Alex Dodt and Boyarsky served in a coaching capacity.

Boyarsky suggested the best is yet to come from this group after coming off a disappointing 2015 NARCh Finals semifinal loss in their top year of Pee Wee Division (14U) play. He said this mostly 2000 birth-year team looked to enter the Bantam Division this season with the goal of competing and winning the gold medal.

“The team fought through round-robin, came back in from a low seeding to make it through to the championship game, but would fall one goal short to the AAA Militia Black 01 team that was playing up a division,” he explained.

Boyarsky noted the Militia Black team went on to win Pee Wee Platinum Division a few days later.

“This whole event was a learning experience,” Boyarsky explained. “The team was questionable with the loss of both Eric Middendorf and Ryan Weick at the start of the year. However, the remaining eight players gelled as a unit early on and elevated their play throughout the season. There’s still a lot of maturing and learning to come for this group. Next year will be their true test as they hope to make another NARCh Platinum run as second-year Bantam team.”

The Outcasts’ Division 1 (24U) team finished this year’s championship tournament with a bronze medal. The team, which is comprised primarily of a mix of Arizona and California players, finished round-robin play with a 3-1 record but fell by a score of 3-0 to the eventual division champion Pama Cyclones in the semifinals.

With the setback, the Outcasts fell short of defending last year’s gold medal-winning effort in the division.

Rostered players included Jayme Haveman, Nic Spinasanta, Tommy Tuohy and Alex Macdonald, all from Arizona, Shin Yamamoto, Kyle Adrich, Kyle Mooney, Scott Savage, Chris Kumata, Paul Linder and Charlie Robinson (goaltender), all from California, and Michigan’s Jon Waring.

Boyarsky served as coach of the team.

On another note, the Outcasts Blue team placed fourth in the Junior Platinum Division. The team finished 3-1 in round-robin play, then defeated the Revision Vanquish, 3-2, in a playoff game to reach the semifinals. But the Outcasts’ season ended there with a 5-1 loss to the eventual division champion Pama Prospects.

Outcast teams also competed in the Cub (6U), Squirt (12U) Silver, Pee Wee Silver, Pee Wee Platinum, Bantam Gold, Midget (18U) Platinum and Men’s Platinum divisions.

Luke Yubeta (Outcasts Yellow) earned top goaltender honors in the Pee Wee Club/Silver Division with a .897 save percentage. The Outcast team finished 4-0-0 in preliminary-round play to earn the No. 1 seed in the Pee Wee Silver Division but dropped its first playoff game to eighth-seeded AKS 01.

Other Arizona programs represented at this year’s NARCh West Coast Finals included the Yuma Blaze (Squirt Club, Men’s Silver) and Arizona Outlaws (Atom Silver).

The Outlaws finished runner-up for the Atom (8U) Silver title while the Blaze finished third in Squirt Club.

Beast in the East

The season is not over for two Outcasts teams that will now compete in the 2016 NARCh East Coast Finals July 13-24 at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla. The Outcasts will send their Junior Platinum and Division 1 teams to compete against top squads from the eastern half of the United States and Canada. They will join 10 California teams (not including NARCh Pro) that are also making the trek to the East Coast.

NARCh nuggets

The NARCh West Coast Finals attracted 214 teams and featured 11 days of competition spread over 576 games. Teams from California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, British Colombia, Japan, Brazil and Colombia competed. A smattering of players from the eastern seaboard also made the trip west.

Besides Canada, international teams from France, Colombia and the Cayman Islands will compete at the upcoming NARCh East Coast Finals.

2016 NARCh West Coast Finals Honor Roll

Gold Medals
Cub Gold: HB Militia
Cub Silver: Labeda Jets
Atom Platinum: Pama Cyclones
Atom Gold: Bulldogs Black
Atom Silver: Temecula Valley Warriors
Mite Platinum: Pama Cyclones 05
Mite Gold: HB Militia Grey
Mite Silver: Konixx Outcasts
Mite Club: Pama Cyclones
Squirt Platinum: LA Winterhawks
Squirt Gold: San Jose Inline Sharks
Squirt Silver: Avalanche Roller Hockey Club
Squirt Club: Bulldogs Black
Pee Wee Platinum: HB Militia Black
Pee Wee Gold: San Jose Inline Sharks
Pee Wee Silver: Pama Cyclones 01/02
Pee Wee Club: Nor Cal Wild
Bantam Platinum: HB Militia Black
Bantam Gold: HB Militia Black 01
Bantam Silver: Huntington Beach Hurricanes
Bantam Club: Konixx Outcasts
Midget Platinum: Pama Prospects
Midget Gold: NorCal Extreme
Midget Silver: Delta Force Elite
Junior Platinum: Pama Prospects
Junior Gold: Verbero Voltage
Division 1: Labeda Pama Cyclones
Men’s Platinum: Labeda Pama Cyclones Blue
Men’s Gold: NorCal Extreme
Men’s Silver: The Militia
30 & Over: Pama Labeda Legends
40 & Over: HB Crew
Women’s Platinum: Labeda Pama Cyclones
Women’s Gold: Revision Revolution

Silver Medals
Cub Gold: Pama Cyclones
Cub Silver: Revision Revolution
Atom Platinum: Revision Revolution
Atom Gold: Pama Cyclones 08
Atom Silver: Arizona Outlaws
Mite Platinum: San Diego Rockets 05
Mite Gold: High Rollers
Mite Silver: Bulldogs Black
Mite Club: Bend Bullets
Squirt Platinum: Delta River Rats
Squirt Gold: Terminators
Squirt Silver: San Diego Rockets 04
Squirt Club: Bend Bullets
Pee Wee Platinum: Revision Revolution 01
Pee Wee Gold: NCR Tour Elite
Pee Wee Silver: Labeda Jets
Pee Wee Club: HB Militia White
Bantam Platinum: Revision Vanquish
Bantam Gold: Konixx Outcasts Blue
Bantam Silver: HB Militia White
Bantam Club: Raiders Green
Midget Platinum: HB Groove
Midget Gold: San Diego Hosers
Midget Silver: Pama Cyclones Black
Junior Platinum: Kamagraf Knights
Junior Gold: Raw Steel
Division 1: Revision Vanquish
Men’s Platinum: Soul Skaters
Men’s Gold: Team XDH
Men’s Silver: New England Insanity
30 & Over: NCR Elite
40 & Over: Labeda Pama Cyclones
Women’s Platinum: OC Blades
Women’s Gold: Labeda Jets

Third-Place Games/Winners
Mite Silver: San Diego Rockets 06
Mite Club: Verbero Voodoo
Squirt Platinum: Pama Cyclones Black
Squirt Gold: Pama Cyclones Red
Squirt Silver: San Diego Selects
Squirt Club: Yuma Blaze
Pee Wee Platinum: North Shore Zulu
Pee Wee Gold: Revision Vanquish
Pee Wee Silver: Chico Firebirds
Pee Wee Club: Revision Revolution Red
Bantam Gold: Bulldogs Blue
Bantam Silver: Revision Revolution 00s
Bantam Club: Avalanche Roller Hockey Club
Midget Gold: Pama Cyclones Gold
Men’s Gold: Rink Rat Grimreefers IHC
Men’s Silver: Verbero Lynx Silver

Top Individuals
High Scorer Awards
Cub Division: Grady Schaefer (Pama Cyclones)
Atom Division: Aidan Yu (Pama Cyclones 08)
Mite Platinum: Christian Kim (Pama Cyclones 05)
Mite Gold: Dillan Rud (Notion)
Mite Silver: Domonic Barber (Konixx Outcasts)
Mite Club: Michael O’Neil (Verbero Voodoo)
Squirt Platinum: Ean Somoza (LA Winterhawks)
Squirt Gold: Aihden Martinez (San Jose Inline Sharks)
Squirt Silver: Bryan Jimenez (Avalanche RHC)
Squirt Club: Liam Culligan (Bulldogs Black)
Pee Wee Platinum: Jason Chu (North Shore Zulu)
Pee Wee Gold: Dominic Hofferber (San Jose Inline Sharks)
Pee Wee Silver: Anthony Yu (Pama Cyclones 01/02)
Pee Wee Club: Tommy Lang (HB Militia)
Bantam Platinum: Casey Rhodes (Revision Vanquish)
Bantam Gold: Dylan Reightley (Puckhog 99s)
Bantam Silver: Evan Stapleton (HB Hurricanes)
Bantam Club: Marco Rodriguez (Avalanche RHC)
Midget Platinum: Evan Somoza (Revision Vanquish)
Midget Gold: Nolan Fitch (San Diego Hosers)
Midget Silver: Alex Grace (Delta Force Elite)
Junior Platinum: Evan Somoza (Revision Vanquish)
Junior Gold: Paul Hermle (Verbero Voltage)
Division 1: Parker Moskal (San Diego Sprung Hosers)
Men’s Platinum: Shawn Gawrys (Pama Labeda Cyclones Blue)
Men’s Gold: Marvin Simmons (Oxy-Pow Youngbloods)
Men’s Silver: Matt Maricic (Riskvision Red Army)
30 & Over: Vinny Free (Pama Labeda Legends)
40 & Over: Dylan Brunton (HB Crew)
Women’s Platinum: Kourtney Kunichika
Women’s Gold: Tia Stoddard (Revision Vanquish)

Top Goaltender Awards
Cub Division: Kaeden Tate (HB Militia)
Atom Division: Max Castagnoli/Sage Legaspi (Pama Cyclones)
Mite Platinum: Sky Willer (Pama Cyclones 05)
Mite Gold: Jolee Savoy (High Rollers)
Mite Silver: Ella Park (San Diego Rockets 06)
Mite Club: Santiago Bohorquez (High School Hockey H2S)
Squirt Platinum: Lucas Massie (L.A. Winterhawks)
Squirt Gold: Evan Haley (San Jose Inline Sharks)
Squirt Silver: Seth Miskiewicz (San Diego Selects)
Squirt Club: Darrian Deshong (Bulldogs Black)
Pee Wee Platinum: Marissa Trevino (Revision Revolution 01)
Pee Wee Gold: Jaisal Patel (San Jose Inline Sharks)
Pee Wee Silver: Evan Pawluk (Bulldogs Black)
Pee Wee Club: Luke Yubeta (Konixx Outcasts)
Bantam Platinum: Kavan Johnson/Tyler Kitchen (HB Militia Black)
Bantam Gold: Maxwell Muller (San Jose Inline Sharks)
Bantam Silver: Alan Maupas-Reigel (Revision Revolution 00)
Bantam Club: Jacob Craig (AKS)
Midget Platinum: Connor Duffy (Pama Prospects)
Midget Gold: Nicholas Leacox (NorCal Extreme)
Midget Silver: Matt Dunton (Raiders Yellow)
Junior Platinum: Connor Duffy (Pama Prospects)
Junior Gold: Kasey Kunichika (Raw Steel)
Division 1: Leksie Zendejas (Revision Vanquish)
Men’s Platinum: P.J. Musico (Pama Labeda Cyclones Blue)
Men’s Gold: Chris McWhorter (Team XDH)
Men’s Silver: Michael Wood (Marina Serpents)
30 & Over: Marcus Vertin (Pama Labeda Legends)
40 & Over: Tim Tobin (Labeda Pama Cyclones)
Women’s Platinum: Danielle Stanard (Labeda Pama Cyclones)
Women’s Gold: Leah Erkle (Revision Vanquish)

Source: NARCh