ATHABASCA/BARRHEAD/WESTLOCK - The Sturgeon Sting are looking for a few elite hockey players from the Athabasca, Barrhead and Westlock areas to join the organization, but they have to register quickly as the cohort selection process starts this coming weekend, Sept. 12-13, for U13, U15 and U18 levels.
The U13 program is currently capped, but those who apply are being put on a waitlist, should spaces become available. The U15 and U18 teams are still open though.
“We encourage people who are on the fence, or not sure, to come try out for the Sting,” says Danielle Cyr, the new director with the ‘AA’ club this year. “We want to get as many kids as we can out here. Our U18 is really in need of players. I know there’s talent out there, so we hope they’re going to come out.”
Cyr has a familiarity with the program that allows her to speak from both a parent’s perspective as well as the association’s. Her eldest son played for the team for three years, and her youngest is trying his best to make the team this year.
The Sting are based out of Morinville and also play in Legal, but players hail from all around central Alberta. The U15 and U18 Sting play in the Northern Alberta Hockey League, while the U13 squad competes in the Hockey Edmonton ‘AA’ program.
Locals from the Town & Country region have had a strong presence on the Sting bench over the years, and the team even had coaches from Athabasca and Barrhead at one point. Sting players have also gone on to higher levels of competition, some lacing up for college and university teams and some even playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL), which is where NHL teams draft many of their prospects from.
“Our recruitment region includes Athabasca, Barrhead and Westlock. We have kids from all those regions that try out; we have some from CR, which is the Riviere Qui Barre and Calahoo area; CNN, which is Gibbons and Bon Accord … and then Sturgeon, which is Legal and Morinville” said Cyr.
“I think because there isn’t a program in those areas, for this type of hockey, we really are trying to make it a true regional program, and really get those kids out there who may not know about this level of hockey and want to take it to that next level.”
The organization has also teamed up with MCN Sports Shooting and Development this year to provide players with a positive approach to learning and improving their game.
“They come with a wealth of knowledge and are going to be a great resource for the Sting program. What they’re going to do is come and do some skill development with our three levels, two or three times a month and work with the team and players individually, offering mentoring and opportunity support on and off the ice,” said Cyr.
“If the kids want to continue they have to be learning and enjoying what they are doing, so this is a great opportunity for our Sting program to be partnered with these guys.”
Those from outside Sturgeon County are required to fill out a notification to try-out form and their home association has to sign off and send it to the registrar at email@example.com. Cyr can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and more information can be found at www.sturgeonhockeyclub.com.