There is a lot to celebrate at the Ontario Hockey Academy, such as the Boys Major Midget Gold team's remarkable start to the season. The team ranks fourth in all of Canada for the month of October. They were one of four undefeated teams along with the Winnipeg Wild, The Waterloo Wolves, and the Moncton Flyers.
Cornwall - November 23, 2011 - There is a lot to celebrate at the Ontario Hockey Academy, such as the Boys Major Midget Gold team's remarkable start to the season. The team ranked fourth in all of Canada for the month of October (they currently rank #19). They were one of four undefeated teams along with the Winnipeg Wild, The Waterloo Wolves, and the Moncton Flyers. The early success of the Boys Gold team is just one of many positive stories coming out of the local hockey school.
The Ontario Hockey Academy is a high performance academic-athletic private preparatory school located in Cornwall, Ontario. The school has 120 student athletes including international students training for hockey and studying in Canada. To get a better insight on this huge accomplishment by the Boys Gold team, I interviewed their coach Luke Beck, and the team's captain Zach Pease.
Jason Setnyk: What are your thoughts on your team's early success? What do you attribute it too?
Luke Beck: I feel the teams early success came from being able to get the kids we wanted to return come back, and also adding some great players over the summer with recruitment. With the great assistance of Pat Turcotte, Bill Murphy, and my assistant Pat Choules we were able to assemble a good mix of talent, grit, and most importantly character with our team. Also, being an academy kids are playing with fresh faces for the first time and they all worked extremely hard in September to help ease the transition into the beginning of season.
Zach Pease: It has been a lot of fun winning! The great part is we are still improving, and if we improve on some of our weaknesses, the year will continue to be very special. How do I attribute our success thus far? We are a hard working team. We still have to continue to work on areas where we need to improve. We are skilled from top to bottom, and we pose a threat because all players contribute. I believe we have a team first attitude. We have good coaching, teachers, and great facilities. You can only get better as a team, and as a player being at OHA.
Jason Setnyk: What is your teams philosophy?
Luke Beck: Our teams philosophy is pretty straight forward: work as hard as you can and always play within a team first concept. If you do this the individual stuff will take care of itself and you will be a better player, and person in the long run. We have learned that on any given night if we are not prepared to do the things that help make us successful that we become a very ordinary hockey club. Also when we loose players to injury it is important that each player steps up his game to help fill the hole in the lineup.
Zach Pease: It's hard work, communication, doing the little things right, and having fun.
Jason Setnyk: What have you learned from this experience thus far?
Luke Beck: It is great to be recognized this early, but nothing is won in October. Our team had a great October but we have a lot of stuff to work on in order to be there when it counts in March. We have struggled in tournaments and need to be more consistent in those and show that we can compete over a short period of time against the top teams in Ontario, as well as in the US.
Zach Pease: You do not get the chance to play on many winning teams during the life of your hockey career. We need to enjoy the experience, and realize that other teams will be gunning for us. As in previous years at OHA our teams get better as the year moves on, but this year we have clicked right from the start. I'm trying to encourage all my team mates to remain disciplined and stay out of the penalty box. It's been a lot of fun so far, and we have a special group of players and coaches!
Jason Setnyk: Thank you for the interview boys, congratulations on the great start, and I wish you the best of success the rest of this season!