A Coach's View
"What makes playing the game of hockey so passionate, to so many, who take up the game? I have had more that one parent tell me that their son or daughter, if having to make a choice between sports, would choose hockey over all others. Why? It is played in a cold environment. Not quite as cold as it use to be, not many parents standing in the snow banks watching when I was young. But let's face it; most rinks we travel to aren't the most comfortable places on earth. It can't be putting on all that equipment every time you play. Maybe it is the wonderful coaches that they have. NOT!
It begins with the joy of just being able to stand up on two thin pieces of steel. The first time you stop without hitting the boards excites you so much that you just tear around the rink doing it again and again. When you shoot the puck and it actually goes in the air was one of the big milestones for me. Going to my first high school game and the Minnesota High School tournament are all events that just instilled the passion for the game that I still have today.
I know for parents who maybe did not play it is hard to understand why your kid's love it so much. It is a game of grace and power, fitness and brute strength, and it takes great physical and mental ability. Players come in all sizes (the MVP of the NHL a few years ago, Martin St Louis was 5'7", 165 lbs) and I believe what sets hockey apart from almost all other sports it that in the first 2 minutes of a game as many as 20 different players from a team could have participated without a whistle ever being blown. It is the truest of all team sports with what I believe are the greatest individual skills mixed together.
So I ask you to embrace your child's passion for a great game and also ask you to do all you can to help make RHA and it's players successful. Hockey will never be easy for those of us in Rapid City, but what will come out of it will be great memories and the knowledge that you were part of the coming together of a great association. "
In August 2008, thanks to the grant writing efforts of Dan Petereit and Genae Sundby, Rushmore Hockey Association was awarded a $20,000 grant for the purchase of equipment to be used by lower income kids so that they might experience the joys of playing hockey.
Throughout the season a number of organizations took part in hockey lessons by volunteer coaches through the program, but it was the Boys Club of Rapid City that finished the season off with a fabulous group of kids each week brought in by their leader Todd Ghormley - an accomplished hockey player in his own right.
Rushmore Hockey couldn’t have been prouder of these kids and their efforts and we look forward to their participation in subsequent years.