Kings’ youngest player is prov­ing him­self to be a valu­able con­trib­u­tor

Brody Wa­ters is among the team’s scor­ing lead­ers, car­ry­ing on a fam­ily tra­di­tion linked to hockey in Wool­wich

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - VERON­ICA REINER

HEI­DEL­BERG’S BRODY WA­TERS IS more than happy to con­tinue the fam­ily tra­di­tion – hockey. Cur­rently play­ing for the Elmira Sugar Kings, the 16-year-old has pre­vi­ously played hockey for the Guelph Gryphons and plans to stay in­volved with the sport in the fu­ture.

The in­ter­est started early for Wa­ters.

“I’ve been play­ing since I was about 3,” said Wa­ters. “I grew up around the game. My dad grew up play­ing hockey, and my brother played it when he was young as well, so he re­ally in­spired me.”

Although he is the youngest on the Sugar Kings ros­ter, he re­mains among the scor­ing lead­ers, av­er­ag­ing a lit­tle over a point per game. Head coach Trent Brown noted that he is ver­sa­tile, ca­pa­ble of skill­fully play­ing both of­fense and de­fence. As well, he al­ways knows what to ex­pect from the young player.

“Very pre­dictable, which is a good thing – he’s very cre­ative with the puck,” said Brown. “But de­fen­sively re­li­able. No ques­tions about what you’re go­ing to get when you put him over the boards. You’re go­ing to get high en­ergy and, from a fan stand­point, en­ter­tain­ment.”

In 19 games, the young for­ward, who prefers play­ing on the right wing, has racked up 23 points – eight goals and 15 as­sists.

“He’s very good,” said Brown. “He can do things that will play out at the seat, but he won’t go off on his own. He’ll stick with the plan and make him­self bet­ter, and make his team­mates bet­ter and give the team-first plays.”

The pas­sion for the sport runs deep – his fa­ther is Rob Wa­ters, who is in­volved with the Friends of Hockey group. Friends of Hockey as­sists fam­i­lies who could not other­wise place their chil­dren in mi­nor hockey, through help­ing with all or part of the costs with regis­tra­tion, equip­ment, etc. The group was formed in 2009.

His late grand­fa­ther, Bob Wa­ters, was in­stru­men­tal in form­ing Friends of Hockey and named a life­time mem­ber of Wool­wich Mi­nor Hockey in 1994. He spon­sored lo­cal hockey, soc­cer and base­ball teams. He also served on Wool­wich mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil from 1982 to 1994 and heav­ily con­trib­uted to the com­mu­nity.

The laneway out­side in front of the WMC was named Bob Wa­ters Way in his hon­our. So Brody Wa­ters is glad to carry on the fam­ily legacy.

“It’s never a bad time on the ice,” said Wa­ters. “I want to go as far as I can in hockey, and pur­sue some­thing re­lated to it.”

Wa­ters is an 11th grade stu­dent at Elmira District Sec­ondary School. The close prox­im­ity to the WMC makes for con­ve­nient af­ter­school prac­tices.

Back to the Sugar Kings, the team just had a suc­cess­ful week­end af­ter win­ning both games against the Cam­bridge Red Hawks and Lis­towel Cy­clones. Brown is cur­rently fo­cus­ing on im­prov­ing the team skill.

“It’s all about the process for us,” said Brown. “We’re al­most half­way through the year, so we want to get bet­ter ev­ery day and ev­ery week. We’re not look­ing ahead to win any tro­phies, yet we’re just fo­cus­ing on our game and get­ting bet­ter ev­ery day.”

[ VERON­ICA REINER / THE OB­SERVER]

Brody Wa­ters

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