Jr. Everblades 12U A head coach James Johnstone talks the team's experience at the SAHOF State Championship:
We did it! Seven months of dedication from the players, parents, management, and coaches all came down to one weekend, and it couldn't have turned out any better.
We arrived in Palm Beach as underdogs in the minds of many, but we peaked at the right time, and finished the season as champions. The Junior Everblades train got rolling with a 6-0 trouncing over the Sharpshooters, followed by a decisive win over the #1 seed Jets, and then we earned our second shutout with a 3-0 win over the Lightning.
We had so much momentum and positive energy that even a 3-1 deficit in the third period in the semi-final versus our rival Palm Beach Hawks wasn't enough to derail us. The fire in the eyes of our boys heading into that third period provided the coaches complete confidence that we would persevere, and that we did, coming back with 4 goals in the third period to secure our spot in the finals.
The championship game was more of the same practically impenetrable team defense, and though it took a little longer than we would have liked, pucks started going in for us, and then came absolute jubilation as the clocked ticked down and we accomplished our mission becoming State Champions.
For anyone that wants to know how we did it, our success can be attributed to one word: HEART. That word has a special meaning among hockey players, and you have to experience it to fully understand. You have heart when you respect the game so much that you always give it your all, you love your teammates so much that you would do anything for them, and at night you dream of your team winning. The former aspiration for personal glory is overtaken by a sincere desire for your team to succeed no matter your role in advancing that cause.
Every player on our team contributed to our success whether by scoring a big goal, making a precise first pass, backchecking tenaciously, or coming up with a critical save.
We won because everyone on our team played with heart.
Please continue to visit JrEverblades.org for more information on the 12U A team and the entire organization.