Jr. Everblades 10U A head coach Garrett Brown recaps the team's experience during the championship season below:
I think there comes a point in time in the season where you have to wake up and smell the coffee. I remember sitting in my hotel room with coach Brad and Dave Vaillieres talking about the AAA 07 Jr. Preds we were about to play in the morning and discussing lines. Do we play these kids on defense or forward? What’s the game plan if we go down by 2 goals? Is Nico going to be able to handle the full game?
Brad and I spend hours and hours on the phone discussing our team and our plans for SAHOF. I think going into SAHOF we woke up and smelled the coffee. Our season was coming to an abrupt end and not in the way we wanted. We had to do something to wake the boys up.
We showed a video in the locker room of a child who played football with all of his heart and soul. He passed away of cancer at the age of 10. He was nicknamed the Dutch Destroyer and everybody would wear his bracelet even Carson Wentz, the starting QB for the Eagles.
There was not a dry eye in the room after that video was shown. I remember looking over in the corner at Joey Terry who couldn't keep his composure. After that video, we passed out the Dutch Destroyer bracelets and the players continued to wear it for the entire tournament.
We switched to something we had never done all season and went with 8 forwards and 5 defensemen.
It didn't work out quite as planned as we got smoked game 1 4 -1 by the South Florida Golden Wolves.
Our entire team checked out of the hotel first thing in the morning.
The next game we tied the Tampa Bay Scorpions 3-3. We were 0-1-1 and things were looking bleak for the Everblades.
The only way for us to get into the semi finals was if we beat the Daytona Racers and the Scorpions beat the South Florida Golden Wolves.
We defeated the racers 5-2 and ran over to watch the ending of the Golden Wolves vs Scorpions game. It was quite the sight seeing the team sprint across the rink in full gear led by their crazy head coach!
By the grace of God, the Scorpions defeated the Golden Wolves 2 - 1 and JEB lived to see Sunday morning. The Bulls ended up tieing the FJP Gold (the undefeated SQA team) and knocked them out of the tournament.
I believe our record was 0-12942398309 when playing games before 10am. Last time we played the Bulls we lost 6 - 2 in the MLK tournament.
Brad walked into the locker and we had been telling our players all season that they were the best SQA team in the state, but now it was time to prove it. Brad said that we want to end our season with a win and not many teams get to do that. That really resonated with them.
Nico Bonomi was a brick wall against the Bulls as JEB defeated the Bulls for the first time this season 2 - 1.
It was onto our rivals the Scorpions.
Last time we played the Scorpions in a championship setting, we lost 4 - 2. That wasn't going to happen this time.
It was 3-3 at one point in the 2nd period and Micheal Mahoney decided that was enough as he dangled 3 Scorpions then went back hand five hole on the goalie. It was one of the prettiest goals of the whole season. JEB went on to defeat the Scorpions 7-3 and claim the state championship.
I'd like to give a quick shoutout to my wonderful assistant coach Brad. You da man.
To my awesome SQA team. I can't wait to come back in 6 years and see you guys tearing it up in midgets and bantams. You are all some of the finest gentleman and lady :) I've ever met. It was a pleasure coaching you and you'll forever be my favorite squad! Blades on Three!
Cam, Mahoney, Xavier, Nick, Hadrian, Thomas, Mac, Roy, Romano, Joey, Emerson, Grady, Evan and last but not least NICOOOOO BONOMI!
HC Garrett Brown
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