Raider Youth Ice Hockey Club looks to bolster ranks

by Brenda Maguire
Tri County Record Correspondent

The Twin Valley Ice Hockey Club is accepting kids from the age of five to 18 who live in the Twin Valley School District for a season that runs from Sept. to March. The Raiders will be holding registration on May 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wal-Mart in Elverson, and on June 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Morgantown Library.

“I think the teamwork and the friendships that they make on and off the ice (are important),” said Rich Landeen, who will be on the board this year as secretary/ treasurer of the club. “My son, Rylee, loves the fact that it’s a team instead of an individual effort. He’ll play his whole life, I think, because he loves that so much.”

The junior Landeen is eight-years-old, and has been playing with the Raiders for one year. His favorite drill is shooting on net.

“Hockey is fun. We can work as a team and have fun and enjoy hockey,” he said.

“I like checking and playing around with my friends,” said teammate Jack Wagner, a 10-year-old who has also been playing for the Raiders for a year.

There are four teams in the Twin Valley club: an elementary school team (grades K-5) that is no checking, a middle school team (grades 6-8) and two high school teams (9-12): Junior Varsity and Varsity.

The Twin Valley practices are held at Body Zone in Wyomissing. The majority of the games are held at Body Zone as well, though last season the teams traveled to Aston and Pottstown for matches.

The coaches focus on building relationships within the team and emphasize teamwork on the ice.

“A lot of these kids, especially at the younger levels, they don’t know any of the kids, and by the end of the season they’re all best friends and they’re a team,” said Brad Stein, the president of the club and head coach of the elementary team. “When they act like a team and support each other as a team, that’s pretty neat to see.”

For the kids involved in Twin Valley Ice Hockey, it gives them a unique way to meet friends who have similar interests as them as well as keeps them active.

One of Stein’s sons, Alex, is 10-years-old and has played for the Raiders for three years. He enjoys playing with his friends from school, and his favorite position is defense.

Stein spoke of the progress of the club, “It started on a pond, just kids playing on a pond, and they got the idea to go into a tournament in spring of 2003 as a team. Then they played in a spring league that Body Zone was offering in 2003. They entered into the league in fall of 2003.”

“It’s nice to play with your school buddies,” said Ian Meers, an 18-year-old who has been skating with the Raiders since the club started eight years ago. “I wanted to start playing because my dad played in a men’s league, and we started skating when we were really young. It is the fastest sport on legs, which is more fun. It’s a fast-paced game and gets the adrenaline pumping.”

The Raiders have a history of success. The varsity team won the Berks League Championship four years in a row from 2003-04 through the 2006-07 season. The junior varsity squad came in first in the East Penn Scholastic Hockey League in 2009-10, and the middle school team was the Berks League champion in 2003-04.

Since some hockey equipment can be expensive, the club recommends that interested parties look into purchasing used equipment. Patrons of the Wyomissing’s Play It Again Sports will find that they will receive a 10 percent discount if they are a member of the Twin Valley club. Further, one of the men involved with the team keeps used equipment in his basement for new team members who might need help with equipment.

The Raiders will be holding ice times at Power Play Rink in Exton so that new players can get a chance to skate with the veteran players. All levels are encouraged to attend the ice times scheduled in June and July.

For more information about ice times, registration and the Raiders hockey club go to http://www.tvicehockey.net.

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