Dayton Blue Hawks Take Center Ice.
J. C. Tilton
While the NHL players and owners are squabbling like little kids, this youth team is playing for the fun of it. It remains to be seen how much damage there will be to the fan base by the time that professional hockey resumes. The lock out has meant that not a single profession game was played. But it is refreshing to watch an amateur game played for the joy of playing.
The Blue Hawks is an instructional league hockey team. The age group is from 4 to 7. They practice over the winter, then wrap up their season by playing a few games against other local instructional teams. They also play an exhibition game in between periods at a Dayton Bombers hockey game in their home, the Nutter Center. At the end of the season the 7 year old players will have a chance to try out for a traveling team for next season. So these games have meaning as the older boys try to exhibit their skills to the coaches at the next level.
At the game I was at, they weren't supposed to keep score. But it seemed to me that the Blue Hawks got the puck in the net a few more times than their competition. Coaches for the team are: Chuck Groh, Tim O'Mearra, and Kelly Friedman. Players are: John Bates, Cole and Connor Chase, Ryan Hoover, Graham and Nicholas O'Mearra - Brookville; Cory Campbell, Jordan Crawford, Jacob and Josh Friedman, Prestyn Hoefler, Parker Patterson, Thomas Walsh - Englewood; Jacob Crum, Darian Witherspoon - Huber Heights; Aaron Dickstein, Charlie Jacobs, Tanner Lee, Jacob Marshall, Ian Molfenter, Jackson Schaaf, Casey Stolfo, Brendan Tipple - Dayton; Tristan Hartman, Andrew Sipos, Gunar Zink- Clayton; Trevor Kraska, Devin Smith - Tipp City; Thomas Tilton - Lewisburg.