Sometimes a modest plan can produce huge results.
In a world where the cost of everything is escalating rapidly and youth sports fees now seems the same as paying tuition for private school; the Woodstock area CHILL ( Cherokee Hockey In Line League) organization has done a remarkable job.
The CHILL has managed to create a synergy among parents, coaches and volunteer referees that is producing an exceptional experience for their children who want to play inline hockey.
The CHILL for the present is a community effort and you can feel the excitement and enthusiasm present at the games.
Volunteers do almost everything from keeping track of scoring, to running the concession stand, coaching and keeping the rink clean. The results have produced low cost entry fees and a ever improving product.
Different than in other colder and more traditional regions of the country for youth ice hockey to prosper in the south inline hockey must also prosper.
Many elite youth ice hockey players found their love for the sport on inline skates prior to matriculating to ice.
It is exhilarating for those who love the sport to see little kids sitting on the bench while their parents tie up their skates and make sure the equipment is on correctly.
The CHILL even plays the National Anthem before the start of the game adding to the experience for the children and the parents.
While there are other inline programs in the Atlanta area the Cherokee organization has found its way around disagreements and complacency while producing an end product that, if it stays on the same trajectory will grow larger with more participants.
The CHILL even has a webpage which provides information on not only what the league standings are, but which players scored goals and assists and the goaltender win-loss record.
If you try to find that information on ice hockey websites you will mostly be out of luck since most teams do not divulge individual scoring stats.
In the AHL Joshua Schwartz of the Phantoms is the goal leader with 5 goals in 2 games. He is followed closely by teammate Julian Otersen who has 3 assists for4.5 points ( the CHILL came up with the idea of awarding more points for assists to promote passing-an idea mite youth ice hockey might also want to adopt).
After 2 games the IHL leaders are Zach Gabel and Phillip Smiley and Megan Hackett with 3 goals and 1 assist each. Goaltender Jake Williams has won 2 games facing 55 shots with a 93.2 save percentage.
The ECHL leader is 12 year old Jonathan Shaw with 2 goals and 2 assists for 5 points in one game. The goaltending leader is Patrick O’Donavan.