When does being too good preclude your team from playing in a tournament, well this is true for the 2014 Ken Closs Christmas Jamboree hosted by the Soo Pee Wee.
The North Channel Lightning Pee Wee team has been playing against other teams from the Sault namely Remax, Century 21 and Red Star in the Pee Wee Minor league at the Pee Wee arena.
The Lightning is not one of the teams in the Sault as the team is from Desbarats and is part of the Canadian Amateur Hockey League (CAHL) and also competes against other teams from the North Shore which include Thessalon, Blind River Elliot Lake and Massey.
The parents of the Lightning Pee Wee team contributed extra dollars to play in the Sault as the boys and girls wanted to play more games than what was available to be played against the other teams on the North Shore.
SaultOnline.com has learned that the Lightning are not able to play in the Christmas Jamboree this year as the Lightning have not lost a game so far this season to any of the Sault teams and they’re too good.
So let’s draw a parallel here for a moment. In the High School Hockey League, and we’ll use another hockey league for this analogy, the St. Mary’s Knights have almost a perfect record as the Knights suffered their one and only loss to the CASS Huskies. So if the Knights go the rest of the season without losing another game I guess that St. Mary’s wouldn’t be able to be in the playoffs because they’re too good. We beg to differ on this point as don’t we tell our children to do their best and if they win, that’s good, but if they lose, well they gave it their best.
What principles are we now setting for our young athletes, do your best but don’t be too good because you might not be able to play in any tournaments.
I sent Greg Barker who is the SPWHL Administrator an email asking why the North Channel Lightning were not able to play in the Christmas Jamboree and here is the reply I got:
“The Ken Closs is a fun tournament which is usually only for local teams. Last year they were invited in as a courtesy, as the division they were playing in was very close and competitive. This year, they are blowing out our local teams (manager admitted to me that the coaches were even asking their players not to play hard against them), and the coaches from that division have asked us to only allow local teams in the tournament as per usual in order to give their kids a chance to win.”
So the way we figure it, last year was good because the other teams were competitive against the North Channel Lightning, but this year the team is way too good and the other coaches are complaining that their teams don’t have a chance.
The Lightning manager wanted to still compete in the Christmas Jamboree and figured that the Pee Wee Major division would be more competitive. Greg Barker’s reply to this was:
“They asked to play in PW Major after schedule was made and posted. It is the holidays and people have already made plans around the posted schedule, we were not going to completely change things up and affect plans that people have already made.”
We’re not sure of the timeline of the events of when the Lightning were made aware that their team was not part of the Christmas Jamboree, and as SaultOnline.com was only made aware of this item this week and we’re thinking that the Pee Wee League waited until the last minute to inform the North Channel Lightning manager of their decision.
We’re not saying that the Lightning has a stacked team with all super stars, the team has a good mixture of players with various number of years playing hockey, but when the boys and girls are on the ice each one of them strive to give each shift their best and with more ice time the improvements will soon follow.
In summary, be good, but you can’t be too good. Oh, who are we kidding, do your best and keep striving to do better.