Osprey to soar again
Plans underway to revive major midget team in the region
Major midget hockey is coming back to the Trinity Conception region and beyond.
Starting this season, a team headed by manager Scott Akerman and head coach Byron Vatcher will look to give midget-aged players from the Avalon, Bonavista and Burin peninsulas a game of top-end hockey.
“We just felt there was a need for a high level of hockey for these players to continue,” Akerman told The Compass.
Major midget hockey has had a rough go-around for the past two seasons. In 2011, a lack of player commitment played havoc with the team later on in the season, while in 2012, the team folded a couple of months into the season for much of the same reasons.
However, Akerman believes the dedication will be there from players this time around.
“I think for the next few years, that level and commitment is there from players,” he noted.
This latest incarnation of the major midget program will take in players from feeder associations in Bay Roberts, Harbour Grace, Whitbourne, Placentia, Clarenville, Bonavista and Marystown.
“We feel reasonably secure that we can get it back on a positive note,” said Akerman.
The team, which for the past two seasons has been known as the Lions, has decided to focus on the past.
This year’s incarnation of the squad will be known as the Tri-Pen Osprey. This was the name of the original major midget team, then known as AAA, in the region.
“I spoke to some of the early players that were pioneers in this league, and they like the name, and we liked the name,” said Akerman. “So, we stuck with that.”
The team colours and logo are still being determined.
In the past, the major midget program has played the majority of its games in Placentia. This year, save f or s ome games a t the Clarenvi l le Event Centre, the Osprey will have the majority of its home games played at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts.
“( Major midget) seems to be successful in this place,” said Akerman.
Practice time will be mainly at the Trinity Placentia Stadium in Whitbourne.
“We’ll also fit in hours here and there when we can,” said Akerman.
Games usually run on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings.
Byron Vatcher will be the head coach. The team has held a number of preliminary skates over the summer, and the coach has been impressed by what he has seen.
“There’s a good core of kids there,” said Vatcher.
He previously worked with the Tri-Pen minor midget team last season and has experience with most of the players in the region.
“There’s a real good nucleus of kids there, and not just this year, but also falling in behind for years to come,” said Vatcher.
Manager Scott Akerman (left) and head coach Byron Vatcher are spearheading the latest major midget team in the Tri-Pen area, the Osprey.