Volunteers, name ideas being sought by Amherstburg Jr. C franchise

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The proponents planning to bring Jr. C hockey back to Amherstburg are on the hunt for both volunteers and a team name.

A “name the team” contest is ongoing through the team’s Facebook site – found at Amherstburg Jr. C Hockey Club – with residents also invited to send name suggestions to infoamherstburgjrc@gmail.com. Co-owners Gaspare Spada and Joe Donato along with coach/GM Greg Prymack appeared at a meeting of the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA) board and said they face a May 15 deadline to order jerseys for next season.

Spada told the RTT after the meeting they hope to have the team named by May 5 or 6 in order to have enough time to have a logo and jersey designed. Team management has stated they would like the team name to reflect the history and heritage of Amherstburg.

“We’ve got quite a few responses for names,” said Spada.

The former Kingsville Comets have moved their belongings out of that municipality with Donato noting that progress is being made towards a tenancy agreement in Amherstburg.

“We’re almost there with the tenancy agreement,” Donato told the AMHA executive.

Prymack noted this week’s mini-camp saw 120 invitations sent out, with an estimated 80 of them to players in the Amherstburg area. He said other local players with birth dates ranging from 1993-97, are

welcome to contact the team for a try-out.

The main camp will be in late August.

Promoting Amherstburg players will be key, added Prymack.

“That’s going to be one of our goals – to have as much local content as we can,” he said. “I think that makes for a successful franchise.”

The Jr. C group told the AMHA they were willing to work with minor hockey including with coaching clinics, getting Jr. C players involved with house league teams, among other initiatives. Community outreach could include reading awareness days in local schools and camps for kids.

The team would play its home games predominantly on Sunday evenings but the Jr. C group said they will have to work with the town and user groups like AMHA to work to find ice in weeks where Sunday nights are unavailable due to tournaments and other events.

The Jr. C franchise hopes to have at least two teams of volunteers they can rotate on game days. Everything from ticket takers to game day co-ordinators need to be filled and those interested in volunteering can also e-mail infoamherstburgjrc@gmail.com. The Jr. C group note people of all ages are needed.

“If anyone wants to volunteer, I’m sure we’d find something for them to do,” said Prymack.

Interest in the team is there, the Jr. C group said, and they want it to grow.

“Everyone I run into is pretty excited,” said Spada.

“I think our league is very excited,” added Prymack, noting they are excited to play in a new building.

Donato noted it will be important for residents to show how much the team will be supported.

The AMHA is an organization that supports the Jr. C team, said president Marc Renaud.

“We want to work with them. We need the community to get behind them,” said Renaud.

Renaud believed it would be great to have Jr. C hockey in Amherstburg playing at the UCCU Complex. He told the group inside the meeting that “we want you to be part of this community.”

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