Scotsburn Crushers evaluation camp fast approaching

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NEW GLASGOW – In just under a week preparation for the Scotsburn Major Bantam Crushers 2014-15 season will get underway. 

The Scotsburn Major Bantam Crushers will be holding their evaluation camp next week at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. The camp is meant to help the coaching staff narrow their list of players that have the potential to be playing with the club in the fall. 

All kids who will be bantam age for next year’s season are welcome to participate in the team’s evaluation camp that will take place next week April 22-24 at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.

“We hope as many kids come out as possible,” said head coach Jeff Green. “If they have an interest in playing and can show determination, a strong work ethic and a desire to be a team player that’s what we will be looking for initially.”

The camp, which takes place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on April 22-23 and 7:30 to 9 on April 24, will be drill oriented according to Green. There will be some intersquad play as well, although he particularly wants to see the players’ work ethic and a willingness to learn.

“I think my eyes were opened severely when this season started this year as to how good these teams are,” said Green, who has only been behind the bench for one season since leaving the Weeks junior A Crushers.

“I thought we would be in the middle of the pack, but we were more towards the bottom of the pack when things ended.”

All players that do attend will also be given a summer program to help them physically prepare for the season and selection camp in August.

“Their work ethic and preparation needs to start when they leave this camp, it can’t start in August,” said Green. “If they are identified they need to start working (on their training) and working hard. That’s a commitment that a lot of people don’t realize. If you’re not strong or fit you don’t have a hope to compete in this league. Everybody you run into are strong, fit and talented.

“A lot of people underestimate the skill level of this league.”

This year’s evaluation camp process has changed slightly, although some has stayed the same. Only players in the team’s region may attend that team’s camp. If players intend to play in the fall they must attend the spring camp.

After the camp the teams have to submit a projected list of no more than 25 players to the league because after that list is submitted, players not listed are released and become eligible to play with other teams in the league.

Green said although the season is far off from next week it doesn’t make a players impact any less significant.

“We want them to show that they can compete, want to get better, aren’t intimidated by physical play or battling for pucks,” he said. “It was a big issue for us this year.”

That was one area the coaching staff identified as something they want to improve upon next year, but Green added they also want to work on their players’ ability to play without the puck. He said most of the game is played without the puck, so understanding their positioning and what to do when they don’t have the puck is important for their development and the team’s success.

“That will be a challenge that we will continue to work on next season,” he said. “About 50 per cent of the team will be new kids on the block kind of thing. That doesn’t mean I can guarantee that guys coming back to camp a spot, but there will be about half the team that will be new to the program.”

One of the lessons he learned last season about himself, as a coach, was he needs to be more patient with the group. He also learned the importance of special teams.

“We were working a lot of basic things early in the season, but in this league and any elite league special teams play is crucial,” he said. “We were probably into late November last year when we started to really get into that, so we’ll try to incorporate that a little earlier in the year alongside some of the basics.”

To combat some of their individual struggles early and throughout the season he said they might look at optional skates for players to better focus on their on-ice skills.

“You don’t get to work on individual skills the amount you need to when you’re spending every minute of the year with us because we’re focused on a lot of team things,” he said. “There is such a learning curve that needs to be taken care of and last season we had to keep working on things. You kind of have a checklist of things you want to get to, but we didn’t through them all.”

Players are urged to register as early as possible so the coaching staff have an idea what background each player has and are able to prepare accordingly for intersquad games. There is a $50 fee for the camp.

For more information or to register email greenj8@staff.ednet.ns.ca or greenf@ccrsb.ca

Organizations: Pictou County Wellness Centre

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  • bobby fore
    April 23, 2014 - 06:55

    hope they get a good goaltender this year.