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Westlock minor hockey numbers on the rise

Incoming president says most age levels will have two teams
WES - minor hockey IMG_0924
The Westlock Minor Hockey Association is experiencing a modest rebound in its registration numbers and are up roughly 25 per cent over 2021-2022.

WESTLOCK – The Westlock Minor Hockey Association is experiencing a modest rebound in its registration numbers and are up roughly 25 per cent over 2021-2022.

First-year association president Nelson Jespersen said as of Sept. 6 they’ve got 155 kids signed up from the U-7 level to U-17, a 30-player jump over last year’s total which brings them closer to the traditional, pre-pandemic total of 175-180 kids.

“We’re quite happy with our numbers as we have more players registered than we originally forecasted back in the spring. We’ve had a lot of players come back and then some new families moved into town which has helped,” said Jespersen.

“We’re slowly coming back, although we didn’t expect it to happen this fast so that’s definitely nice to see.”

Skaters will hit the ice this coming week with Sept. 12-14 set aside for conditioning. After that will be evaluations, Sept. 15 and 17, to form teams — Jespersen said they have enough for players for two teams at the U-18, U-13 and U-11 levels and possibly three U-9 clubs although they’re “still toying with that idea.” So far it looks like there’ll only be a single U-15 team, while U-7s are lumped into a single group, then split out to form even teams.

As for the season, Jespersen said the U-18 Gord Smith Memorial Tournament is on tap for December, while the Timbits tournament for the U-7s is slated for January. He also noted the association has purchased some new training equipment and are planning on exploring further “skill development avenues that will better assist our players going forward.”

“We’re definitely looking forward to the season as our numbers are strong. We want a complete season from start to finish with no interruptions and a full league schedule,” he added. “It’s back to business as usual.”

George Blais, TownandCountryToday.com



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