2017-2018 Season Recap, Thanks & Awards, News (Barrie AAA Zone)

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Apr 07, 2018 | HLankin | 7598 views
2017-2018 Season Recap, Thanks & Awards
On Thursday, April 5th we took the opportunity to celebrate the successes of the 2017-18 season, thank everyone who made the season possible and recognize a few individuals with awards.

The Executive truly appreciates all the hard work of each member of each team, along with our coach mentors, development staff, ice scheduler and timekeeper.  Without each of these people filling the roles they do, Barrie AAA would not be the great association that it is.

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." - Helen Keller 

Here are some of the highlights from each team and would like to recognition of team staff and sponsors: 

Novice – The team began the year with high hopes for this enthusiastic and energetic group and were not disappointed!  Throughout the season the boys worked hard, continually pushing themselves and each other in pursuit of their team goals with a relentless desire to get better each day. The team finished the season in 1st place in the West – a goal they had set for themselves at the start of the season - and then advanced to the OMHA championship tournament on the strength of 6 straight play-off wins against Ajax and Quinte.  At the OMHAs the team went 3-0-1 and earned a place in the finals against Whitby.  The team fought hard and came away with a well-earned silver medal and the respect of everyone at the tournament.  Throughout the year the team was involved in several important community events, participating in the Dress the Rink Pink campaign in solidarity with the Minor Midget team and collecting thousands of pounds of food for the Barrie Food Bank. They were fantastic ambassadors for the city and our organization!  Congratulations to the Novice athletes and their team staff: 
Head Coach: Brent Crawford
Manager: Hayley Barbesin
Assistant Coach: Neal Martin
Assistant Coach: Joel Bishop
Trainer: Grant Barbesin
On Ice Support Goalie: Scott Calvert

Thank you to the Novice team Sponsor: Signature Sold Team

Minor Atom – It was a season to remember for the Minor Atom team, with many accomplishments and memories to last a lifetime!  As we all know, winning the RED HATS is not easily done!,  Without fail, the team put forth total effort in each and every practice and game in order to better themselves as hockey players.  The team finished the season in 1st place in the West (second overall).  They battled their way through playoffs to the OMHA Championship final beating a strong Peterborough Petes team to win the title!  This is only the second OMHA title in recent history for Barrie AAA.  Congratulations the Minor Atom athletes and their team staff:
Head Coach: Todd Larmon
Manager: Bessie Protopapas
Assistant Coach: Greg Patton
Assistant Coach: Frank Astri
Trainer: Mike Tulk
On Ice Support: Derek Hildebrandt
On Ice Support: Bujar  Amidovski
Off Ice Support: Jessica Tulk

Thank you to the Minor Atom team Sponsors: Georgian Mall Family Dental & Ideoli

Atom – What an amazing season for the Atom team!  They started the season off with an impressive showing at the Toronto Marlies Tournament, but also enjoyed the surprise pleasure of seeing the Toronto Maple Leafs practice one morning.  A handful of crafty boys even managed to sneak their way up in the stands to find a very serious, but gracious Mike Babcock who took a moment to allow them a pretty awesome photo op!  Certainly a great way to kick off the year.  More memories were made during their trip to the Nations Cup in Michigan where the players sang our national anthem with an abundance of pride and heart after winning the Nations Cup.  The regular season was busy with Monday night development, early morning practices and games, but there was never a complaint from the players.  They finished second in the West and after grinding through the OMHA playoffs earned a spot in the championship final.   Although the result at OMHAs was not what the team had hoped for, it is truly something to be proud of when you consider that only 5 teams out of 23 in the 2 divisions make it to those finals.  Congratulations to the Atom athletes and their team staff:
Head Coach: Brian Laforge
Manager: Scott Martin
Assistant Coach: Steve Marshall
Assistant Coach: Chris Jackson
Trainer: Bill Mann

Thank you to the Atom team Sponsor: Lavallee Concrete 

Minor Peewee – The team had many highlights on and off the ice.  Their time together on the ice almost equaled their time off the ice with events like the faceoff tournament, cooking and nutrition class, video sessions, pizza parties and a basketball tournament to mention some.  This team has also volunteered their time several times throughout the season with team building skills combined with trail clean-up at the Tiffin Conservation Centre and their invaluable assistance at the Start Talking Cup in January.  Their last tournament of the season was the Border Battle Series where the team worked hard and was undefeated to win the banner!  Congratulations to the Minor Peewee athletes and their team staff:
Head Coach: Don Monteith
Manager: Laura Lightheart
Assistant Coach: Carl Gregory
Assistant Coach: Perry Simardone
Assistant Coach: Colin Pickard
Trainer: John Collins

Thank you to the Minor Peewee team Sponsors: Soatto Realty, Canadian Mental Health Association & Liberty Property Solutions

Peewee – This tremendous group of Peewee athletes worked so hard from the off-ice summer workouts in preparation for the season, through the long grind of the regular season and right up until the end of their final game.  The team showed what heart, perseverance and commitment to the game is all about!  This season was filled with accomplishment from the excellent showing in each of the top caliber tournaments they attended to the near undefeated regular season earing them top spot in the ETA.  The team earned the prestigious right to participate and represent the OMHA at the Ontario Winter Games in early March.  And last but not least, the team again earned an OMHA championship berth and a much deserved silver medal.  Congratulations to the Peewee athletes and their team staff:
Head Coach: Mark Cardiff
Manager: Connie Rehkopf
Assistant Coach: Brian Hogarth
Trainer: Brian Caroll

Thank you to the Peewee team Sponsor…and our longest standing sponsor: Rockrune Movers

Minor Bantam – The team had a tough season in terms of successes on paper, but the lessons learned this year will benefit the players after their minor hockey careers have ended.  Throughout the season they displayed their resiliency, effort and approach to team work both on and off the ice and through all the adversity of the season the players all continued to smile.  The positive reinforcement by team staff of the program and team goals helped to keep players on track. 
Congratulations to the Minor Bantam athletes and their team staff:
Head Coach: Mark Quail
Manager: Sheri Norman
Assistant Coach: Murray Clark
Trainer: Alex Catherwood

Bantam – Throughout the year, the Bantam team went through the process of building a strong program, which focused on team-first play, being accountable leaders, and demanding and expecting the best from each other both in practices and in games.  This allowed the players to experience great growth and development in their own game and within the team structure.  It also helped them to be a contender every time they stepped on the ice.  There was great improvement in team performance as the season progressed.  The success at the Buffalo tournament in January propelled them into the final stretch of the season.  They competed in the ETA playoffs where they demonstrated their determination and hard work came home with the ETA Championship!  Congratulations to the Bantam athletes and their team staff:
Head Coach: Mike Berry
Manager: Pauline Stevenson
Assistant Coach: Mike Plesh
Trainer: Jess Lindsay

Minor Midget – The team ended up with an outstanding overall record of 51 wins, 18 losses, and 9 ties.  27-4-3 in their regular season for 1st place in the entire ETA.  An amazing accomplishment in their Minor Midget AAA year.  The team also made it out of the Round Robin in every tournament they were in, minus one hiccup at the Marlies tournament.  This included the final 8 teams in the Wendy Dufton Tournament in London, the Invitiational Silver Stick in Whitby, and the OHL Cup in Toronto.  The team defeated NCP in 3 games in the first round of the playoffs and Quinte in a very exciting 5th game in overtime in the second round to earn their way to the OMHA Championships for the 6th straight year.  The team also raised funds for Breast Cancer and team mum with their Pink in the Rink Fundraiser in October.  Certainly an amazing season for the Minor Midgets with more excitement to come with the OHL Draft.  Congratulations to the Minor Midget athletes and their team staff:
Head Coach Josh Dahmer
Assistant Manager Michelle Snow
Assistant Coach James Willis
Assistant Coach Zach McCullough
Trainer Jessica Smith
Trainer (Assist) Todd Sloane

Thank you to the Minor Midget team Sponsor: McKalester Painting 

Midget – And finally, Midget hockey is such a new experience for everyone involved.  For the first time, players had an open border and were able to explore all the options that are out there for athletes.  Competing against the junior options in our area is certainly a challenge for our Midget program.  But the team staff were committed to getting players and continuing their development journey.  The team had lofty goals and while they didn’t manage to achieve “success” on the scoreboard, they believe they met many of their objectives outside the wins and losses.  By taking on this journey the midget players and parents learned valuable lessons that will assist them in getting to the “next level” of hockey and in life.  Congratulations to the Midget athletes and their team staff:
Head Coach: Brad Traves
Manager: Adrian Balah
Assistant Coach: Dave MacLean
Assistant Coach: Scott Laing
Assistant Coach: Dana Falconi
Trainer: Christina Martinell
Trainer (Back-Up): Nick White

Thank you to the Midget team Sponsors: Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre and the Horsepower Grill. 


We would like to take this opportunity to recognize our hockey ops team.  Hockey Ops has undergone some changes this year with Joe Rockrune Jr. taking the reins from Tom Bly.  That change has brought a greater hockey ops presence at the arenas and a larger support system for our coaches.   Thank you to Joe and thank you to our coach mentors, Jason Cameron, Bill McGuire and Norm McCauley.  Your support of the Barrie AAA vision for hockey has been unnoticed and is appreciated.

Thank you to development staff, Paul Matheson, Zach McCollough and Norm McCauley for your invaluable development sessions with our Barrie AAA athletes.       

Thank you to our Ice Scheduler, Victoria Jacobs, who took over the role from Lisa Scott back in September.  She has done a brilliant job working with the City of Barrie and Town of Innisfil and has developed a great relationship with the people at both offices which we hope will make things a bit easier next season.  Thank you to Victoria. 
To our timekeeper, Mike Ashwood, we truly appreciate his time and work over the course of our long AAA season working with all 9 our teams and timekeeping for almost every home game.   

Thank you to the team at Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre for all your assistance with our AAA athletes over the course of the season.  You definitely offer athletes, parents and coaches some peace of mind.

Thanks to Tim Viktil and his staff at ProStar Sports Excellence who took over the role as the primary apparel and equipment supplier this season.  We are excited to announce that effective for the 2018-19 season all jerseys will also be purchased through ProStar Sports Excellence.  Thank you again to Tim and his staff for your assistance this season and we look forward to our continued relationship.   

Finally, thanks to our Executive members for all your hard work behind the scenes.  Our finance duo, Denise Grasse and Laura Lightheart; our risk management team, Tom Dart and Gabe Chiodo; our equipment administrator, Pauline Chiodo; our rostering administrator, Liane Brassard, administrator, Lisa Michaels, and finally our Chairman, Hugh Campbell. 

2017-18 AWARDS
We asked staff/volunteers and parents for nominations for our annual awards.  We received a number of nominations in each category.  The Executive voted for one candidate in each category and these are our winners:    

Trainer of the Year – The trainer is an important role on any team.  They must be available at all practices, games and team events.  They ensure that appropriate and approved equipment is worn during on-ice activities.  They maintain the health information for each player and member of the team staff.  Trainers must maintain an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for all arenas the team plays and ensure that team staff are aware of their roles under the plan.  Our winner this season has done all of that and more.  He spent tireless and countless hours volunteering his professional and first class clinical duties in keeping the athletes healthy and able to perform at their most competitive level they are at.  It is not simply the game day routine that he provides but more so the off-ice preparation and treatment that is afforded the players that can sometime go unnoticed.  And then, on top of all of this, he has been the Mentor and go to person for all other trainers in our Association.  Thank you and congratulations to the 2017-18 Trainer of the Year, Brian Carroll. 

Manager of the Year – The Manager...also known as the team organizer or the team record keeper or the team the bookkeeper.  We ask a lot of our managers from the perspective of the Executive…our Manager Guidelines in the AAA Policy Manual is 8 pages long!   But we also know that the coaches asks almost as much and then there is the parent communication.  A Manager is to establish and maintain open lines of communication between the Head Coach, Parents and the Association.  It is not always an easy job.  As the VP of Admin, I would like to personally thank, Hayley, Bessie, Scott, Laura, Connie, Sheri, Pauline, Michelle and Adrian for all your work this year.  The Manager wears several hats and this year’s Manager of the Year certainly does!  Add the following “titles” to those listed above: Mum to 3 kids, Wife, Business Owner and Treasurer for our Association.  Thank you and congratulations to the 2017-18 Manager of the Year, Laura Lightheart.  
Coach of the Year – What defines a Coach?  What is coaching?  A coach is a facilitator of learning – they aim to improve the performance of an individual by helping them learn and development.  As a Barrie AAA coach you are expected to do this with 17 or 18 athletes over the course of a season.  Coaches are expected to be at every practice, every game and every team event.  Taking on a AAA head coaching role requires a considerable time commitment – it’s not just about the time on the ice or at team functions, but also includes all the time planning, scouting and communicating for the benefit of the team.  We don’t measure the success of a coach with wins and losses.  We measure the success of a coach by the improvement each member of their team makes over the season, the values and lessons taught and by the overall commitment they make to the goals of Barrie AAA.  A special thanks to each of our amazing coaches…you certainly didn’t make our decision for coach of the year easy.  This year’s coach of year taught his players what being part of a team means; that each player’s commitment and hard work will help the team as whole achieve their goals.  This coach has also taught his players respect both on and off ice.  Finally, this coach has been a long standing coach with our organization and it’s with great pleasure that we thank and congratulate the 2017-18 Coach of the Year, Josh Dahmer.  

Volunteer of the Year – Our last award is the Volunteer of the Year.  A volunteer is someone who freely offers their time to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.  Barrie AAA hockey would not be what it is without ALL of our volunteers.  This year’s volunteer of the year has been working with the association for a number of years in the background, but stepped up December 2016 when a position on the Executive became vacant mid-season.  Many of you have children with our AAA organization or have had children participate in the organization in the past, but this volunteer has neither…at least for a few more years.  She has happily assisted hockey ops and risk management with admin related task and events and worked to improve the use of our website.  She is our event planner, the association organizer, the webmaster and the VP Administration.  Thank you and congratulations to the 2017-18 Volunteer of the Year, Hannah Lankin. 

So with that we wrap up our 2017-2018 season.  Thank you again to everyone involved in Barrie AAA.  Without all of your all of your hard work, effort and time over the course of the season we wouldn’t be the great organization that we are! 

   Trainer of the Year         Manager of the Year
2017-18_Trainer_of_the_Year_Brian_Carroll.jpg 2017-18_Manager_of_the_Year_Laura_Lightheart.jpg

              Coach of the Year                            Volunteer of the Year
2017-18_Coach_of_the_Year_Josh_Dahmer.jpg 2017-18_Volunteer_of_the_Year_Hannah_Lankin.jpg