Posts Tagged ‘Austin Blades’


“A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.”~ Unknown

Tonight has just been gruesome. Filled with tears and the wonderment of what’s going to happen in the future.

I’ve reached a point in my life where I am going to have to sit down without distraction and decide what is going to be the best decision for my life.

Trust me, I don’t wish this battle on any one.

My sledge hockey career has come to a stop. Based on the fact that I have gotten sick many times or have been broke with no money to go travel to Houston at certain times  since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.

To be honest, I have not been on the ice at any capacity since our trip to Houston in May of last year. It has almost been a full year!!

And there has been a lot of personal factors along with that. Outside of failing health.

El Jefe, my wonderful friend and neighbor, passed away suddenly April of last year. He was my solid source of transportation for many seasons. After he died, I was nearly caught in a mess where I would no longer have transportation to/from practices. A few times I was lucky and fortunate enough to be able to catch rides from other teammates or another neighbor with a vehicle. But it got out of hand quickly and got real old fast for those who were driving here to come pick me up. And I had to let that go, so that I wouldn’t ruin the personal relationships I had with them.

Family would seem to be the logical step. But not in an unstable environment. Especially since my brother-in-law died one week later after El Jefe. My sister would not be able all of the time to handle her two children and come and pick me up for practices. Even though she did try last season.

THIS season… practices have been on Sunday mornings at 8:00 AM. And as much as I tried and pleaded and begged to get them to change it to a later time in the day, the team took what was given to them. And that very much was a factor as not too many people were wanting to drive all the way to get me and then drop me off at practice that early in the morning on a Sunday.

Not a lot was in my favor this season. Including the last trip to Houston a few weeks ago where (as I understood) they were going to be watching certain players as they played because so many people wanted to go to Boston in April for the tournament. Someone… is going to be cut. Too many interested players and only a few select spots on the team, according to tournament rules. There’s not ENOUGH players to make a SECOND team to go either.

The fundraising efforts that I attempted to carry out on my own with the help of another and split it… failed. We weren’t even close. So financially, I wouldn’t be going to Boston even if I was in excellent physical condition.

But I am not. It was explained to me that even if I got back on the ice tomorrow, I would have to be in peak condition for tournament play in less than two months. And it doesn’t seem all that possible as I am still unable to get on the ice.

So with all of this being a disappointing season. I do not know if I will ever see the ice this season. And with the way things are set up with the team as they are right now, transportation to/from practices and events … it just isn’t there. Its not in the cards.

Therefore I have been in tears, battling with the thought of whether or not to end my sledge hockey career with the Austin Blades.

This is a heavy burden as I sift through everything and attempt to make these life decisions with a clear mind.



“Fundraising is very, very time-consuming.”~Arlen Specter  

Dear readers: 

For most of you who have been around long enough, you know that I have been doing my best this season to raise enough funds so that I and the other assistant captain of the team can go to the USA HOCKEY DISABLED FESTIVAL  in Boston this  coming April.

Our original cut date was supposed to be the 31st of January. However with just a week and a half remaining and the lack of donations in the past few months (sadly), the two of us honestly did not see that we would reach our goal in that short amount of time.

We had even trimmed our goal by $1,000 and we’re still under 25% of reaching the full amount. We just did not know the right people to ask for donations and the nation’s economy is still pretty bad.

But all reasons and politics aside, we still want to thank those who read about our campaign through the blogs and thank those who tried to help spread the word. 

We also want to thank Author Jodi Ambrose and those good people up at Cape Cod Cookie Company for offering their personal incentives for this fundraising campaign. It was a fun deal for those to give to a good cause. 

Now we know that the website link will always and forever be available to receive further donations. We haven’t figured out how to “delete” the campaigns.

I will have it in the Blogroll for a little while longer, but I after this post …. I will not be advertising the link. Eventually though, it will be removed from the Blogroll. Unless its found a different purpose later on in the future.

If you still wish to donate or are the kind of person that likes to wait until the last minute, NOW IS THAT TIME!!!

We will be letting the ship sail at MIDNIGHT PST…. tonight!! For those of you who do donate and I receive the e-mail that you had done so before the cut off date, then your donation amount will be considered towards those incentives. 

And for those of you who find it too late and still wish to donate, I think that the idea that we had was to hold the money for the next season in case there are plans to go to the next tournament in 2015. So your donation money will still go towards the Austin Blades sledge hockey team, specifically for me and for my partner in crime in this adventure. We thank you in advance!!! 

No matter what, we will always be thankful to everyone who supports us, whether it be financially or moral support or whatever. We love you all. Thank you most sincerely!! 


Our donation page:



“From the end spring new beginnings.”~ Pliny the Elder

Ladies & Gentleman, boys and girls.

Welcome to your NEW Austin Blades sledge hockey team.

Sort of.

The team that I play for now has a branch of the STARSkaters program and will be now protected by its 501(c)3, and receive all of its non-profit status.

A press release that was sent out today by STARSkaters stated:

At a recent board meeting, the Austin Blades Sled Hockey team voted unanimously to become a chapter of
Chapter status will allow them to expand their fundraising efforts to support Sled Hockey in Austin as well as send some of their players to the 2014 Sled Hockey National Championships which will be held near Boston, Mass next April.
At the meeting, Frank Dorval was elected chapter President.  Frank got to work immediately enlisting STARskaters founder Jim O’Neill to assist planning a 3 on 3 Tournament in Austin which will serve as the clubs first major fundraising effort with a target of $5,000 in proceeds.
For more information about the Austin Blades Sled Hockey Club, contact

And this is all true. We did have a meeting and we ALL voted to go for the STARSkaters program. We’ve connected with the program in friendship and have bonded with them personally that it all just made sense to go with them. Simply because Jim O’Neill had heard about our troubles with the secretive information about the non-profit status.

The team now will have the knowledge on how to go about fundraising and everything else in between.

Some of the team members (including myself) have already hit the pavement to go after corporate sponsorships locally.

But we are only at the beginning. The sigh of relief was collectively felt and heard this afternoon when the news finally came that the necessary papers were signed, and now we are dealing with our own chapter.

We still will remain the Austin Blades. But are ARE with/under STARSkaters.

And a few of us are still hopeful to go to Boston in 2014 in order to play in the national tournament. The Austin Blades at this point have no idea just how much or what kind of help we will be receiving (if any) from STARSkaters on this matter. And a few of us still believe that its not the right thing to do to just suck on the backs of the program. So we are still attempting to get things rolling here locally on our own.

I have my own fundraising campaign specifically to get to this tournament in Boston. Along with another teammate, the two of us are going strong to raise funds by donations. With YOUR HELP, we can achieve this dream and go for the gold!!!

Even though the tournament isn’t until next year, we only have until the end of January 2014 to “Get-R-Done” so to speak.

We’ve reached 8.9% of our total goal for the both of us to be able to go in a month. And we’re super excited about that. But we’ve got a long ways to go.


Every little drop will help, believe me!! And for those of you who are reading and have already donated, we honestly thank you from the bottom of our asses, because they are both larger than our hearts. If by chance that you are able to, please consider donating again.

And don’t forget about the wonderful FREE incentives that go along with this fundraising effort.

Together with the donations, and now being a chapter of STARSkaters, we can make our goals.

My personal goals in the sport can actually have a light at the end of the tunnel without it being a freight train. Gold at the end of the rainbow.

I can’t wait for the beginning of the 2013-14 season. Its  going to be so wonderful.


Well there’s something that we don’t do each and every season! The Austin Blades gets something of post-season activity on the ice.

We returned to Houston for the first time in a very long time. It was so exciting that the number of people who attended were ready to go about a week before.

Houston set us up very nicely at the Hilton Garden Inn in northwest Houston which was conveniently located to the rink that we played at on Friday evening.

We would have  three days of hockey at three separate locations. We were just a bunch of traveling idiots, doing what we really love to do.

Our first night was at Willowbrook Aerodome. A place that the Austin Blades had never played before, and its our understanding that Houston now is practicing there every Friday evening for an hour. Getting a FULL sheet of ice.

As shocked as we were, it was very apparent that Houston has been getting better and better. They definitely are a lot faster now!

Some say that the score at the end of the evening was tied at zero. Others say it was 1-0 with Austin winning. Depending on how much of a hardnosed person you are about the rules. The puck crossed the line, but it didn’t completely pass over. So if you say that it counts, it was 1-0. And if you say that it must completely pass over, it was tied at zero.

I was glad to see WELL OF SOULS guitarist, O.J. Morris, had been there later in the evening to come check things out. I’m not quite sure what he thought about it, but at least he was there.

I had actually invited about twenty different people from the Houston and surrounding areas to ice rinks that were conveniently close to their area. The idea of using the reciprocation card however would just end up burning me to the point of being butthurt. Wanna see the bruise??

Three days, three rinks around the city of Houston, many invited. ONE showed up.

Saturday morning, we joined Houston at their usual time at Memorial City Mall for a half sheet of ice. We actually did a bit of scrimmaging and just took it to another level with Houston.

And if you recall or have recently read the blog post about the “mystery woman” from the mall, yes– I did think about her. I did think about seeking her out afterwards. But I didn’t in the end. I don’t even think that the kids train was even running by the time we got off the ice.

Next time!!!

Saturday evening we ALL got into one vehicle and sent our butts into downtown Houston for a baseball game that was offered to us from the Houston team.

My first time at Minute Maid Park. My second MLB game ever in my life. Can you say $12 for a shot glass? Ridiculous.


Minute Maid Park from the right field section

I’m not much of a baseball fan at all. But it was something that I got to experience.

The Houston Astros took on the Texas Rangers. And what seemed so funky and out of place was the fact that there were more people in Houston cheering on the Rangers than the Astros.

The Astros tied it at 1-1. Then hit a home run, gaining the lead at 3-1. But then the Rangers just kept at it until the point where the score was 8-3 in favor of the Rangers.

I noticed that by the middle of the fifth inning which is basically the half way point, all of that had been played in just 75 minutes. Half of the game had blown by. It was weird. But you know what? From the bottom of the fifth until the end of the game took more than two hours to complete. Total game time was 3 hours, 22 minutes.  Crazy how that works. Total attendance was 27,188. Probably the largest crowd that I had been in ever in my entire life.

The Astros would make one hell of an effort for a come back at the end of the game but fell short  and lost 8-7.

After another short night of almost no sleep. Friday night we had someone in the hotel room with us and couldn’t get them to shut up or take it upon themselves to note the time was late and take off. Saturday night was another late night because the guy that I shared the room with and I got caught up watching an old episode of Cold Case on cable.


Sunday morning we went all the way over to Sugar Land to play. Probably THE COLDEST ice rink that I have ever played on. And we were going to be there on the ice for almost two hours.

After getting up super early Sunday morning to get gasoline, travel, show up, get ready, blah blah blah …. it was so draining on energy.

When everyone showed up, we paired off, Austin vs. Houston. But one of our guys decided for whatever excuse to wear an all black jersey. So in order to keep it white jerseys (Austin) versus colored jerseys (Houston), there was a trade off.

The Austin Blades would regret this switching around of players later on.

That would end up being a 3-0 victory for Houston. And something that they are able to hang on to for a while, knowing that they beat us fair and square. Or was it?

We traded players. The Austin player who was playing for Houston scored twice. The Houston player who played for Austin has tremendous speed.

Even if you take away the fact that OUR guy scored twice, there was still that one goal scored by the mother of the Houston goalie. It was really neat to see the entire family out on the  ice. Mother, father, brother. The goalie for Houston is actually pretty damned good! He’s on the USA Developmental team. In training and conditioning to be able to play for Team USA, and he’s not even out of high school yet. He graduates this month.

But his mother scored a goal. When that happened a full chorus of voices started chanting “Happy Mother’s Day!” to her over and over again. She had previously warned everyone NOT to beat her up on the ice because of the fact that it was Mother’s Day. But once she scored? Yeah… all bets were off. But nobody could get to her.

It was a lot of fun needless to say. Still working on the butthurt, but I will get over it. Plus the obvious aches and pains of playing that much in that many days.

We are all excited to get back together again and play some more. Even the Houston team said that they wanted to do it again.

But it might be August or early September before we are able to.

I’m thinking about maybe talking with Houston and seeing if they would like to put together an annual meeting between the two teams, and the winner will take back home a trophy or something.  And quite possibly, Houston could for once travel here to play once in a while.





“Hockey is a unique sport in the sense that you need each and every guy helping each other and pulling in the same direction to be successful.”~ Wayne Gretzky

I should have titled this blog post From 6,073 to 0 in under 5 Minutes, but I thought a little better of it.

The Austin Blades went and did an hour of skating and playing after the Texas Stars game.

Most of us were excited. The mystery of it all was that nobody was for certain who was going to show up from the sledge hockey team. That led to six members arriving. So 3 on 3 it would be.

Although I did not recognize any of the foreshadowing that took place throughout the evening during the Stars game.

Six people show up. Eye candy was low. And the one person that I thought was still on the cheerleading squad was gone.

Texas Stars would end up losing 4-2. And that was another factor. When you are to follow the main event, and the home team loses? There’s not going to be a lot of people willing to stick around. Even though I had talked to about 15 people explaining what I was going to do after the game and they all thought it was cool. They didn’t stay either.

So about 20-25 people were left standing. And I think that they were family and close friends of the team.

I didn’t hear of any announcements to encourage the crowd to stay afterwards. Although its being said that it happened….. ONCE.

I just don’t think that when the home team loses, that the chances are great for people to stay behind.

This happened last season in Houston at the Toyota Center when over 9,000 people were in attendance and the home team lost. So everyone went home, except for family members and volunteers.

But our 3 on 3 would continue on.

The ice rink at the Cedar Park Center is much, much larger in length than what we are used to. And because of the fact that I personally have not been on the ice in about five months, in addition the length of the ice… just taking one lap around it to warm up nearly took everything out of me. But I pressed on.

My side of the three fell behind very quickly. I want to cry foul but wouldn’t have anyone to back me up on that.

Then I started to catch on fire, scoring goal after goal after goal. But it wasn’t enough as the other three would score tit for tat. We never caught up. I score, they score. I score, they score. On and on and on it went.

Eventually everything just melted together and before I knew it, the leader was doing a audio countdown from ten. As is his usual fashion when we practice.

We were done and off the ice and changing back into our clothes and it was only 11 PM.

Who knows what is next for the Austin Blades. Probably nothing like that again for the rest of the season. I have a feeling its just going to be a few more practices and then that will be all she wrote. I am HOPING that is not the case.

Anyone wanna take a ride to Houston where they are always in the mood for doing something more than practice????


The time is here, it has come for the 9th annual USA HOCKEY Disabled Festival.

But here I sit at home. No packed bags. No final check on equipment. Nobody from the Austin Blades are  going.

Pretty sad.

After joining forces with counterparts in Houston last year and winning 3rd place, one would believe that our team would re-group and aim for gold this year.

It never happened.

The idea was actually discussed at a team meeting before the 2012-13 season even began. A meeting that had no leadership in attendance and the ones really doing any of the talking were the leaders ON the team.

After a unanimous vote to NOT attempt to use funds or even raise them as a team to go to this tournament, it was very painful and disgusting to me to hear individual players talk among themselves after the meeting stating a desire to still try to go to Philadelphia.

It made no sense. Why in the world vote NO when your heart is saying YES?

Houston had already made up their minds that they were going to strive to go and that meant doing anything that they could to raise the money.

I believe there were several factors involved for the Austin Blades.

For one, it was estimated that each individual player would have to come up with $2,000 a piece in order to take care of transportation, lodging, and everything else that would be involved in going to Philadelphia. I think that each of the Austin players defeated themselves in believing that they would never be able to come up with that kind of cash. Never in a million years.

Upon that hearing that assumed magic number… each player immediately gave up.

Also, two of our ice rinks were stripped and torn away from us as the ice rink was sold. Leaving us with only one sheet of ice. And that sheet of ice was to accommodate for everything from hockey to skating lessons to figure skating. The sledge hockey team was seemingly thrown into this mix and we’ve not been able to have access to a full sheet of ice during any time that we have had practices.

At the beginning of the season, there was a series of bake sales that took place. With me taking care of my niece so that my sister could at least go to work once a week, I never participated in those bake sales. The scheduling of them was just not convenient for me to attend. And it pissed off the entire team that I was never there. They never quite understood.

There was but a few bake sales and then that disappeared. I suspect that the money that was earned from all of them went towards buying ice time for practices. But that’s information never willing to be confirmed. It would however stand to reason.

Times since then have been very few and far between that the Austin Blades have been on the ice, for any reason at all.

Meanwhile, Houston has been going at full force.

I did make a personal attempt to raise the money for MYSELF to be able to go. But out of the estimated guess of $2,000 that I needed, I was only able to raise $260. The link to the website was even on the Blogroll. Still is. But that’s all I was able to receive.

I found the lack of inspiration and willingness to sacrifice to make it to Philadelphia by the team lacking and pathetic. There’s no drive whatsoever! Only fear and self-intimidation.

This entire season I have been struggling in the back of my mind of whether or not to actually quit the team. But using that as a threat isn’t the point. The point is that the team seems to be slipping back into a comfort zone of doing seemingly nothing to go forward or get ahead. And that really kills my personal dreams and goals of participating in this exciting sport.

I know that Houston would welcome me with open arms if I end up there. They have always been inviting the Austin Blades to join them for a practice or two. Even challenging us to friendly competition…. going as far as to pay for gas and hotel. But the Austin Blades did nothing. It wasn’t even discussed as a team.

See what I mean by lacking??

Sledge hockey to me is not a hobby. Its not just something to do in order to get me out of the house for a few hours a week. It is a passion, a heartfelt interest. I’m driven by the idea of playing. It took more than three seasons to even get jerseys! Or something that would even resemble us as a sports team. And that was only done because I had a fire under me to push, push, push.

So much for the Austin Blades I suppose.

The team going from Houston is playing under the team name of Texas Stars. Which ironically is the same name of the semi-professional hockey farm team nearby. The Austin Blades will be playing on their ice after they play a full game later this weekend. But I seriously doubt anyone will be sticking around to watch us play. We tried that when our team had it together and we went to Houston for the first time. Over 9,000 people in the stands and nobody stayed behind to watch.

But I will be hoping and praying that Texas Stars do well this year in Philadelphia. The teams in that pool are many so there will only be two games played before they start a semi-final round, going by points. They must win five games outright to bring home the gold!

I noticed that their second match is against G.L.A.S.A., the same team that ruined us last year. I hope for some athletic vengeance on the ice. Games can be watched online at, but they are not free! I think its something like $7.99 per credit. And of course if you buy more credits, the price goes lower per credit.

I am hoping for the gold. And at the same time, I know that deep down I will be totally miserable about it…. KNOWING that members of the Austin Blades, including myself, could have been a part of it.

So I will wear my green and black this week. And then I’ll be on the ice this coming weekend in our Austin Blades jersey doing my best to represent.

Speculation and rumor has it that the tenth annual tournament will be in Florida. NOW is the time to start planning for it, for those of us who didn’t go to Philadelphia. I’m going to be busting some serious ass to raise enough funds for that to happen. Even if the rumors are wrong, I will do what I can to get there and it doesn’t really matter where its located. Just as long as I AM THERE!!!!



I am one really tired and sore person. But it is great to be a sledge hockey player.

There’s just not enough hot water in the shower for me to battle all of the sorness and everything out of the body.

My team was invited by the STAR skaters program to join them as they were going to participate in an exhibition over at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas during a game by the Houston Aeros.

So travel, we did. This was the FIRST time that our sledge hockey team has gone somewhere else to play in the history of the program!

We were fortunate enough to have enough people go to have our team represented well. And we were also fortunate to find out that our hotel stay was given to us by the Embassy Suites for free!!

But it was a very good time in Houston. We did an intermission exhibition for about five minutes. Although I do not know how many fans were there. I hope to find out how many were in attendance.

After the game (which went into OT), we got to play on the ice for an hour. We played against Houston and my personal stats soared! Although I did have some tricky backhand shots that were scored. It really was such a great time to be out on the ice like that.

Although I must share some moments that happened. For instance, I was on the ice in front of the crowd and the mascot for the Aeros saw me coming down the ice and started striking his stick on the ice. So I took that for hockey intimidation. I went blazing down the ice directly at the mascot and just inches away from him, I turned my sled sideways and ultimately took him out. His body went flying over my shoulder and landed on the other side. I heard several people react.

It was a controlled fall. The mascot was fine. I went near him to see if he was okay. I could hear him laughing inside of his suit. Everything was okay.

When we were on the ice during that hour into the night after the game, our team was just all over the opponent. I was very disappointed however to see that the seats were emptied out. Even though the game announcer encouraged the crowd several times throughout the game to stick around. Nevertheless, we were out there having a great time.

We finally got back to the hotel around 11:30 PM. Yeah, it was that late! I did the best I could, dragging my sled and equipment bag the two blocks back to the hotel and then up the elevator.

This is very similar to the view of the Toyota Center that I had from my corner room at Embassy Suites.

Throughout that evening, there were people coming in and out of the hotel. I really enjoyed how the employees at the Embassy Suites would acknowledge me as I went through the lobby and in and out. Once I came back in and I made my way towards the elevators, the people working at the front desk would always say, “Welcome back, sir!”. I thought that was really nice.

Lots of people in the downtown area. There was a group of teenage girls there. When I was pretty much done for that night, I was waiting on an elevator and here they came. We all were waiting and we got on the same elevator, punching numbers to each floor. I was on the eight floor and had already punched 8. And then others, 10, 11, 12, 14 and so on.

I was so exhausted that when the doors opened for MY floor, I didn’t move. I finally came back to reality and saw that I needed to get off the elevator. I snuck through just as the doors were closing. I could hear them all laughing because I had brainfarted that I was needing to get off of the elevator.

Oh well.

I got back to my room and put everything aside. It was really a cool place to stay. The entire room suite is much larger than the entire space in my home!!! I didn’t want to leave it was so nice, but then again, I’m not going to pay $180 a night.

Finally got to bed around 1:00 AM. Set the alarm clock for 6:00 AM. But I was up and awake at 5:00 AM. So I got ready for the day because it was going to be very busy.

At 7:00 AM, I had the opportunity to meet up with author, Jessica Trapp for breakfast at the hotel. It is always awesome to be able to hang out with her. I think she’s just the best and I am so glad that we are friends and that she was willing to come to downtown Houston to see me. So yeah, I was willing to get up that early to hang out with her even though I had a long day and a short night. It is always an euphoric reaction when I get to meet up with her.

After that, we checked out and waved farewell to Embassy Suites. We moved on to Memorial City Mall where they have an ice rink inside the shopping mall. There, we went back on the ice for a while. By noon that day, I was getting very tired and more sore throughout my body.

But we weren’t done. Not by a long shot!!

 A few hours break, we all hung out at the mall and had lunch and what not. Then off we went again. This time to Sugar Land Ice Center for two full hours of ice time!! All of the players on our team got there about 45 minutes early and were all spread out along benches, laying down. Just trying to stretch out our backs and get some rest wherever and however we could.

Once on the ice, we got warmed up as always. Laps around the rink, and then handling the puck while skating. Nothing really new for the team. But I guess something not so familiar for Houston’s program.

Meanwhile, as I was handling the puck. I took a shot at the goal as one of our team volunteers stood there as a goalie. I was in the sled, HE was on his feet.

So I took a very hard shot. I noticed that the puck went flying into the air. Which is something I am not really good at, but getting better. What happened next– could have been a $10,000 winner on “America’s Funniest Videos”.

The puck ascended into the air as it took off. It hit the guy standing there defending the goal…… right in the crotch. Now, it wasn’t the funniest thing that it hit this guy in the junk, but it bounced off of him and went into the net.

Those of us who witnessed it, all fell over laughing.

Those of us who did not witness it, went running to help people because they thought that the players were in trouble and couldn’t get back up again.

I had some friends come watch me at Sugar Land Ice Center. These were people that I have not seen since I was a child. I knew that they were taking pictures and videos. But alas, this particular hockey humor moment was not documented.

I am very grateful that they too, came out all that way to see me. It warms my heart that they were there to watch me play. I had my own two person cheering section.

But after getting involved in what I am calling a “four car pile-up” I got pushed backwards and slammed into the wall, hurting my back. I got off the ice and I was done.

We were all exhausted when we got home. Bodies sore, deprived of sleep, but not caring too much because it was all just a blast!

Not sure as to when we will be doing this again. There is a sledge hockey festival in April, in Dallas, Texas that is on our schedule or at least the radar. I am sure that locally, we’ll have some events starting in 2012.

But we thank STAR skaters for having us out there. We’ll meet again on the ice.

By the way: Can anyone come by and give me a massage? Thanks!!!


Today is the season ending performance for the Austin Blades. I think that is a bitter sweet ending to a season that was filled with promise for the team’s future.

This though for me, is the end of my third season of playing. I think that I have done well and I hope that the coaching staff believes that I have improved.

A lot has happened since the end of last year’s season. The Blades were able to step it up a notch when I had completed the task of getting a logo that would go on to our practice jerseys. A task that had started way back in June of last year. It finally became a reality six months later. The team was thrilled.

We’ve lost some team members throughout the year. Some from illnesses and surgery. But I believe that our core members stuck through it all season long. I call it, “The Awesome Foursome”.

I will however miss being on the ice. Unfortunately for me, my season came to an end when back in March, I ended up with pneumonia. I never recovered fully enough to return on to the ice. And when I was healthy enough to play, we had no ice time. I am hopeful that with the beginning of next season I will be able to keep in better health and be able to continue in my goals of one day being on the U.S. National Team and represent my country.

Unfortunately, the team was unable to secure any tournament play this year. And we as a team, were given the shaft when it came to having a performance during the intermissions of an AHL hockey game locally. Last year’s performance during an intermission, we played in front of over 6,000 people! Absolutely exciting!!

But the team members will take the summer off. Coaching staff as well. I am hoping that our core members will continue to do whatever they can to find some ice time on their own so that they are able to continue in their strength and endurance throughout so that come the time we begin next season, we are able to hit the ground (or ice in this matter) running at full force and never look back.

I’m going to miss it, for sure. I’m sad that I was not able to get back on to the ice and do what I love to do the most. But the ice won’t go away, I will some day make a return. My passion is too strong to let it just go.

In the mean time, I will do what I did last summer during the break. Strive for donations and help. My mind will focus on doing what I can to help make the team better from off the ice.

Our team though needs a van. One that will be able to carry players, sleds, and equipment so that we CAN participate in tournament play in other cities across the country.

My time on the ice with the team ends for now, but my dedication and work for the team continues.