Now that NARCh Winternats on the west coast is behind us, I have had some time to reflect on the first big event of the 2012 tournament season. As most of you know I coach the Revision Vanquish program based out of Southern California on top of my normal Revision based duties, so tournaments can get a bit hectic. It is only when I am back at home that I get a chance to truly dwell on how it went and realize what our teams have accomplished. It was great to see so many Cub (6 and under) kids out there playing, this year my youngest Revision Vanquish team is an Atom (8 and under) group. Not only did these studs take home the Atom championship but they also competed in the 10 and under division and finished round robin with a 3-1 record making it all the way to the Mite Silver Semi-final before losing. The future is bright for our youngest group, and I can’t wait to see how they compete at the end of the year tournaments.
I also have to give some kudos to the Revision Mustangs. We have supported the Mustangs program from San Jose for several years now, first working with Jeff Manning who has since handed the reigns over to Jose and Yoshi. It was great to see all the mustangs players sporting their RV hats, tees, and bags throughout the tournament and congrats to them for taking home the Mite Gold Championship! Jose and Yoshi have things going in a great direction and I am excited to see the mustangs competing so successfully.
For almost 6 years now the Revision women have been at or near the top of the division at NARCh. It is increasingly difficult to keep a team together as there is such a shortage of great female skaters, and the ones who can play at a high level are scattered demographically all across the U.S. The Revision Vanquish Women’s core of 4 or 5 skaters is based in Southern California, but the others come from Arizona, New York, PA, and even Oregon. With very few power house women’s teams out there we often find ourselves in a battle with Mission and their talented group. Such was the case at NARCh Finals in Florida in a 3-2 Overtime thriller that we were lucky enough to be on the winning side of to take home our 3rd Women’s Platinum championship in the last 5 years. After round robin and a great game against the Pama Cyclones group which is a fast up and comer amongst the womens teams, we found yet again Mission awaiting us in the final. Courtney Render scored twice and Jetta Rackleff stopped everything in site to lead us to the victory. 2 teams entered and 2 championships, not sure it could get any better then that.
One division that I always look forward to seeing is the Midget (18 and under) division. The pace of these games are always furious and occasionally you can get a look at a few players that we will all be talking about in a few years as they develop into Junior/D1 and potentially NARCh Pro players. The Revision Vanquish group has put countless hours over the last few seasons often falling just shy of their overall goal at NARCh. Last year as the Revision Devil Dogs they took home the Midget lower division championship at winternats and followed that up by a bronze medal placing at NARCh Finals in Florida. Jason Christie, Lucas Hanson, Ian Curran, Stephen Verstegen, and Spencer Hibbard all returned this season, and the additions of Jeremy McHenry, Kevin Robert, and Riley Lowe has made this team one of the most talented 18U groups I have ever seen. It was great to see them finally realize their potential taking control of the tournament from start to finish going undefeated in the round robin, taking the first overall seed, and ultimately being crowned the 18U champions, with Blake Ducker taking home the top goaltender award. I must say that while I have won many championships as a coach this particular celebration was one of the most rewarding and emotional for me.
3 teams and 3 championships is quite an amazing beginning to the season and has me more excited about coaching then anytime in the recent future. I look forward to seeing all the other Revision programs and supporters over the next 6 months at all the great events NARCh, AAU Finals, Statewars, etc. The tournament season is officially underway!