The newest members of the Valley Jr Warriors program are certainly making a splash. Just two weeks into the young season, Dave Sacco’s VJW Mite Minor squad is on a roll after posting five straight wins during the 2009 New England Hockey League Qualifying Jamboree.
The NEHL qualifying jamboree was introduced this season in order to help league administrators determine seedings for the regular season. The Warriors passed the early season test with flying colors as the squad posted a perfect 5-0 record and outscored their opponents by an impressive 54-13 margin. Not a bad start for any team … let alone a group of seven year olds.
As the youngest members of the Valley Jr Warriors program, the Mite Minors spent the last months of the summer getting to know each other and being introduced to the Valley Jr Warriors system. A week of Valley Junior Warriors summer camp in August and a schedule of regular practices and scrimmages since that time have proven to work as the team is jelling as well as anyone could have expected.
The youngsters are soaking up the experiences and the teachings of Coach Sacco, who is enjoying his first year as head coach of the Mite Minor team. He brings a wealth of experience to the program as he is the #2 All-time leading scorer at Boston University and a First Team NCAA All-American. He also no doubt has many inspiring stories to share with his young team as he – in addition to his tenure as an NHL player – represented the United States at the 1993 World Championships and the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer.
While there is still much for his team to learn this season, Sacco is pleased with the early effort that has led to strong results. In their first game, the Warriors posted a 10-2 win over the Worcester Crusaders. The following day, they came through with another convincing victory – an 11-2 decision over the Vipers. The second week of the NEHL Qualifying Jamboree saw much of the same as the Warriors posted strong wins over Assabet (15-2), New Hampshire Avalanche (8-7) and the New England Falcons (10-2).
Offensively the team is starting to string passes together, while defensively the players are making key plays to keep strong teams at bay. Hayden Adams came through with his career shut out despite suffering from strep throat during the week. Cam Martin has taken the lead roll in the locker room as he leads the players in their locker room “We Will Rock You” chants.
All of the young players are contributing to the team's early success... but more importantly having a great time being a part of the VJW program.
Here is a list of the 2009-10 VJW Mite Minor Team:
Anna Bargman Blake Buonopane Brady Carpenter Calvin Mansfield Cameron Martin Colin Elliott
David Sacco Hayden Adams Ian Driscoll Jack Gilligan Kyle Elliott
Tyler Godfrey Zachary McKenelley