The 2011-12 Edition of the Bantam A Sharks got together for one last time tonight for a quick game of glow-in-the-dark mini-putt and an all-you-can-eat pizza party. I took some time to thank each one of the girls for their efforts and offered a quick anecdote or remembrance that stuck in my mind for this or that player from what now seems like a relatively whirlwind year. I also gave them a pic we took during before a game in our league division finals that was pretty representative of their combined carefree attitude (off the ice). I enhanced it a little with some of their accomplishments and our pre-game reminders of what they need to do to win. I left plenty of room for them to sign their names, numbers or whatever else they chose – a one page year book if you will. And write they did, including full paragraphs on the backside of the photos in some cases.
In return, one of our player’s grandfathers was commissioned to create a sketch of the team at our bench during a game; a keepsake I will display proudly above the mantle for the foreseeable future.
The thanks I received tonight from players and parents brought the entire season into quick and simple perspective. I believe for most, I delivered the positive minor hockey experience they should expect and deserve – an experience which will hopefully be looked back upon fondly as they move forward on or off the ice. For all my fretting and more than a few sleepless nights, I’ll miss this group and I’m glad I can say that.