Gwood Grizzlies U16 Heads to International Finals

Leonardo Anchondo

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The Glenwood Springs U16 hockey team, the Grizzlies, will be heading to Canada in January to play in the International Finals. This achievement has been the hard work of the players and coaching staff that has spanned over 8 years together.

    Although their achievements have been well earned, their success has been the accumulation of a really long progress. The Current U16 team consists of players that have been together for around 8 years. This bond has finally paid off as the U16 team won the 2017 Rocky Mountain Silver Stick Regionals Tournament in Denver this past November.  

    Sophomore Hockey player Jacob Fowler said “We came into the tournament and knew we could win if we really worked for it.”

    With their victory, the Glenwood Springs Grizzlies U16 team punched their ticket into the international finals in Canada this upcoming January. The Grizzlies will be competing against some of the best teams from both Canada and The United States. The Grizzlies will practice three times a week leading up to their tournament; this will help the team prepare to face high caliber teams.

    The tournament will host some of the best teams in the nation. With such quality of teams, it is essential the Grizzlies start working on their game plan for when they get to Canada.

    “We’re about to start working on specific things in order to compete with Canadian teams,” said 7th year head coach, Bryan Gonzalez.

    Since the hockey team is not associated with the high school, they have a different practice routine compared to the in-school sports.

    Regardless of their outcome in the International Finals Tournament, the team will still value this experience and see it as an opportunity to have fun and compete.

    “Overall, we play to get a competitive sense and have fun with friends.” said Fowler. “Our time with friends is limited.”

    The team is young, as it consists of freshmen and sophomores. This will keep the group together for at least another two years. The bond the hockey team has had over the past few years has been a lesson for all of the players, which has lead to their success.

    Ultimately the team as a whole believes there is more to playing hockey than singular achievements, they play hockey “To have fun, teach skills, and to try to win”.

    “By far hockey means the most to me; being part of this hockey program and playing in high school helped me learn a lot in life,” said Gonzalez. “I want to make sure the players get a similar experience.”

    The Grizzlies make their trip to Canada this January. Best of luck to the Grizzlies!

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