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Blue Hawks Take Center Ice at the Nutter Center
J. C. Tilton

Not many schools carry hockey in Southwest Ohio. But with a strong college program at Miami and a local professional hockey team - the Bombers in Dayton, there is an interest in hockey in the Dayton area. The Blue Hawks Hockey organization fill this void for youngsters in the Miami Valley. This program gives youngsters a chance to play hockey who ordinarily would not have the opportunity. The teams practice at the Hara Arena complex, which to the North of Dayton.

The players begin in an Instructional League for players from age 3 to 8. This year 28 players participated in this age group. The players are fully equipped to lessen the chance of injury. They wear helmets with masks, shoulder pads, and hip pads. At this age the players do not play any games, but do learn fundamental skating, stickhandling, and agility. This year they had plenty of coaches - 6; and so there was plenty of individual instruction and the kids were kept busy. The next level for the players is "Mighty Mites". After age 8 the players will begin competing with other teams in about a 100 mile radius and play regular hockey games. They did not play any games but the Instructional League did get a chance to showcase their talents in front of a crowd at the Nutter Center courtesy of the Dayton Bombers. During one of the intermissions between periods, the team was split in half and the Blue Hawks scrimmaged each other for about 10 minutes. It was a fun way to conclude the season after working hard all winter. And the crowd got a kick out of watching the youngsters. On the team were players from Brookville, Troy, Phillipsburg, Centerville, Dayton, and little 5 year old Tommy Tilton from Lewisburg. If your youngster spent the winter sitting on the couch, this may be something worth checking into for next season.

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