USA Hockey has continued to advance in importance with regard to youth hockey in America.
Part of their unique Importance to the growth of hockey is the organizations involvement and direction with youth hockey development.
The program has come a long way and has become the benchmark for youth hockey in other countries as well. Even Canada has followed some of USA Hockey’s policies and recommendations.
The Southeastern District holds a camp for the top 14 year old (first year Bantam) players in the District as an introduction to the USA Hockey development program. Each Affiliate in the Southeastern District sends 20 players to this week long summer camp. Top coaches come in to work with players to help them further their skills.
Prospective players must participate in their local Affiliate selection process to be eligible for the camp. Each Affiliate will select their top 20 players (12 forwards, 6 defense, 2 goaltenders) to participate in the event.
This year several 14 year old players from Georgia attended the annual hockey camp at Kent State University campus in Ohio.
The week was spent developing skills and competing in scrimmages designed to showcase the youth players who were invited.
The teams were divided up into the Red, Blue, Gold, Green squads.
The participants from The Thunder organization and Georgia included the following:
The games were all exciting contests and the four teams played with intensity, all vying for a chance to play in the finals with the victors being awarded a trophy that resemble the Stanley Cup.
The Green Team and The Red Team played in the final round. It was their second matchup with the Red team winning the first matchup 8-3.
Interestingly, the Green squad upset the favorite Red Team with a inspired performance.
Missing from the squads were Drew Amsler, Cole Warner, Sean McAvoy, and Gentry Shamburger who were unable to attend the Camp.
USA Hockey will evaluate and rank players who participated in the camp for further participation next year.