By Mike Shalin February 2, 2005
While acknowledging it?s nice to be mentioned along with other teams considered among the best in the country, Warrior coaches Peter King and Paul Kurker are both downplaying their teams being ranked in the Top 5 nationally on the Nationalhockeyrankings.com website.
?It?s nice to be recognized by an independent party,? said Squirt Major Elite coach Paul Kurker, whose team currently is ranked No. 4 on its level. ?Not that I think it really means a heck of a lot ? other than we?re doing things right with the Valley Junior Warrior program. The emphasis on development and teaching things the right way is bearing fruit. But I think anyone in the Top 20 could beat anyone else.?
Peewee Minor Elite coach Peter King, whose team is No. 2, felt basically the same way. ?It?s great that someone says we?re No. 2, that?s great,? he said. ?But we?re trying to develop little kids to get to the next level, in more than just hockey. We?re teaching sportsmanship, a team concept, how to act. We?re all working for a common goal, which is raising children to be productive in society.?
Both coaches pointed to the ages of these kids as reasons to take this all with a bit of a grain of salt.
?It?s nice to be in the company of the Compuwares of the world,? said Kurker. ?But with 10-year-old kids it?s hard to rank where they belong. I know we have a great team, great kids ? it?s just a feather in their caps to be recognized as a Top 5 team in the country. We?ll see how it all ends up but this reflects on the success of the program. People know who the ?94 Warriors are.?
Said King: It?s someone?s interpretation of kids at the 11-year-old level. I?m not sure how they come up with the ranking but they?re 11-year-old kids and I just don?t put a lot of credence in it.
?We have a great group of kids and it?s just so much fun coaching them. Nothing has changed because someone else considers them one of the best.?