New Mexico Warriors’ Pee Wees take second at Silver Stick
Winning a silver medal is an accomplishment, but obviously, not the ultimate goal.
The New Mexico Warriors’ Pee Wee team that traveled to Pelham, Ont. (just outside Toronto) to play in the International Silver Stick Finals finished second for the second straight year – nothing to be upset about, according to coach Brian Barnes.
“Our organization provides competitive opportunities for our players that rec programs simply cannot,” Barnes said. “Going to Canada and competing against teams of that caliber is invaluable for our players. Getting to compete with teams from across North America allows us to really see how we stack up. Going to Silver Stick, we played several Canadian teams and a team from Philadelphia and every game was competitive. That shows us that we are doing the right things with these kids and that is a very rewarding feeling.
“We spent time in buildings that have more sheets of ice in them than we do in our whole state. When you look at in those terms, these kids were amazing. Trying new chocolate bars and stocking up on ketchup chips was a lot of fun for everyone.”
In the championship finals Jan. 8, the Warriors fell 2-0 to the Strathroy (Ont.) Jr. Rockets.
The Warriors’ Pee Wee team is comprised of forwards Travis Arguello, Cashton Barnes, Coulter Barnes, Taylor Hartinger, Luc Kibodeaux, Max Kofcher, Hunter Tafoya, Aaron Thomas and Charlie Young; defensemen Seth Darreman, Zane Irion (also plays forward), Scott MacGillivery, Jonathan Onkin and Gavin Richards (also plays forward); and goalies Harrison Coe, Mathias Sizov and Sean Terrel. Barnes is joined on the bench by Vladimir Hartinger and the team manager is Derek Irion.
Barnes has been impressed with his team to this point and expects the Warriors to keep improving.
“This team is pretty scrappy,” said Barnes. “We have kids who are on the opposition quickly. I think we are tough to play against for that reason. We take away time and space and every kid plays with a lot of heart. I love that and that is something I can’t really coach into them. They just have it.”
— Matt Mackinder