Bantam coaches needed for league, Mustangs

There will be a bunch of unhappy bantam-age hockey players if some potential coaches don't step forward soon.

There will be a bunch of unhappy bantam-age hockey players if some potential coaches don’t step forward soon.

With a larger than expected enrolment in the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association’s bantam house league, the association is scrambling to get coaches for three teams.

“Basically the situation is that we have more athletes than we expected, and slightly less coaches, so it’s a quirk of happenstance,” said Carl Burgess, president of the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association. “So we’re putting the call out to try to pull them in.

“What we don’t want to do is tell half of the players that signed up this year in bantam that there’s no team in bantam for them. We don’t have coaches for them yet, so we’re looking at all kinds of options.”

Currently, two of the four bantam teams in the bantam house league are without coaches. (The bantam league also includes the Peewee A Mustangs rep team that, like all the Mustangs A teams, plays up an age group in the Whitehorse league.)

The Bantam B Mustangs rep team is also in need of a coach.

“It’s good in that we have more bantam and midget kids staying in hockey,” said house league co-ordinator Gary Seed. “That’s great. That’s one of the goals we have as an organization – to have kids continuing to play. But to increase the amount of teams, we need to have more coaches step forward.”

The association hasn’t established a deadline for coaches to volunteer, but games and practices are starting to get postponed.

The league’s insurance requires every team to have a coach. So, in other words: no coach, no team.

“We’re pretty confident that the coaches are out there,” said Burgess. “We expect coaches to come forward, but they haven’t yet, so we’re a little nervous.”

Counting the Peewee A Mustangs, the bantam house league has enough players for five teams – one more than last year. The association is hoping for two to three coaches for each of the three teams.

“The association is pretty supportive,” said Seed. “If there are coaches who can’t commit to being there all the time, then you get an experienced coach to run a practice or run a game, as needed. We’ve done that for a number of years.

“We try to help out the coaches as much as we can. We’re not just giving them a team list and telling them good luck. We want to make sure they’re successful, so we’re helping them in any way that we can.”

Whitehorse Minor Hockey is hurting on another front. The association also needs more referees.

“We also need more refs because of higher demand and we’ve had refs move out or are doing other things,” said Burgess.

If you are interested in coaching – or reffing – contact Seed at garylseed@gmail.com or the association at whseminorhockey@gmail.com.

More information can be found at www.whitehorseminorhockey.ca.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com