Sports Talk with Tyson: Minor hockey season has arrived once again

“I’m sure one of the hardest parts about being a coach has to be making cuts”

With another hockey season just around the corner, I figured it would be a good time to bring this column back from the grave and write down some thoughts.

Yes, Sports Talk with Tyson is still a thing. I just haven’t had much to write about sports-wise lately, so I’ve been focusing my writing skills on other areas of the newspaper.

With that quick little re-introduction done and dusted, let’s get down to the business at hand.

Last season was definitely one for the record books.

Pretty much all of the North Island minor hockey teams posted stellar records and really showed the rest of the island the level of talent that we are capable of producing up here.

The highlight for me was definitely the North Island Bantam Eagles earning silver medals at the BC Provincial Championships, which was somehow held in Port Hardy for the second time since 2015.

How we got to host the provincial championships twice in that short of a timespan I’ll never know, but I was quite honoured to be given the opportunity to cover an assignment that massive and challenging.

In what will probably be my defining moment as a journalist, I covered every single Eagles’ game from the tournament, while also making six, five minute long game highlight videos to go with it.

What was truly incredible was that I somehow managed to capture every single Eagles’ goal on camera.

That was not an easy task by any means, but anyone who knows me knows when I set my mind to something, I do it. I don’t let anything or anyone stop me. Never have and never will.

Anyways, while hockey season sure is an exciting time, it’s also a ton of work for the parents and volunteers that dedicate their efforts to making sure the games and practices run smoothly, so let’s give them a big round of applause. There’s far too many unsung heroes to point out specifically, so I won’t even go down that road in case I accidentally leave someone out.

With that little thank you out of the way, let’s talk coaches.

I’m sure one of the hardest parts about being a coach has to be releasing players.

This year’s midget Eagles’ coach Ryan Handley told me exactly that: “Releases are extremely tough on everyone. As coaches sitting there and looking a player in the eye and saying ‘I’m sorry, you haven’t made the team’ is something we don’t take lightly and it’s very painful because you create bonds and friendships with these kids over the years, but it’s also a part of the process and hopefully it fuels them for the future.”

So this goes out to any player that didn’t make the team this year, don’t let it discourage you.

If you love hockey, double down on it and do everything you can to become a better athlete.

Nothing is handed to you in life, you have to work hard for whatever you want.

Hopefully this little bit of information helps. Michael Jordan was once cut from his high school basketball team, and he went on to become the greatest basketball player of all time. Don’t even mention Lebron or Kobe to me.

Now then, I’ve been trying to think of a good way to end this piece, and I think a little storytime might be the best way to go.

I remember two seasons ago I travelled out to Port Alice to watch the North Island Bantam Eagles play either the Tier 1 or Tier 2 Comox Valley Chiefs.

It hadn’t been a very good regular season for the Eagles, as they had moved up to Tier 2 to challenge themselves before playoffs and hadn’t won a game yet.

The showdown against the Chiefs started off pretty well, but then the wheels fell off and they ended up getting hammered like 13-1, or something brutal like that.

Whenever a team loses that bad I never bother the coach afterwards for a comment on the game. It’s like rubbing salt in the wound.

To Ryan Handley’s credit though, he texted me after the game and still gave me his thoughts on why he thought his team got blown out.

All told, I think that’s a pretty great example of how to take ownership of a loss.

Losing is sadly a part of life, but victory wouldn’t taste so sweet without it.

Tyson Whitney is an award-winning journalist who was born and raised in Port Hardy. His family has lived in Port Hardy for more than 40 years. He graduated with a degree in writing from Vancouver Island University in 2008. Email:

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

North Island Elementary students published in short story collection

Five Fort Rupert Elementary students are now bonafide authors

MP asks Minister of Transport for review of safe crew levels on new ferries

The new ferries were approved to run with smaller crew sizes, raising safety concerns

$8,179,919 in grant funding announced for North Island communities

This local funding is part of over $228 million in grants going to B.C. communities.

Port Hardy earns Bear Smart certification

Community committed to living safely alongside bears

Funding police would be ‘most expensive single budget item we would have’ says Port Hardy councillor

‘we’re not panicking — I can’t see our population numbers jumping up that high that quick’

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read