Tennyson Chevrolet completed a successful tryout camp last week at their home arena of the Ice Box Sports Center in Brownstown, Mich.
The camp had close to 60 players ages 16-20 that were all competing for a spot to play in the Midwest Junior Hockey League.
"We were very pleased with the turnout and the level of play," said a Tennyson coach. "We have since the day the new league was announced concentrated on preparing our players for a high-intensity tryout camp. Our tendered players have consistently put in the time all summer off the ice and on the ice and it was obvious that there was a level of intensity right from the camp opening on Monday (July 30)."
Tennyson players reported to camp on that Monday for a practice session that was ran by assistant coach Peter Flynn while the rest of the coaching and scouting staff observed.
"Sometimes in a tryout situation, which are basically inter-squad games, you do not get a complete evaluation of a player's work ethic," said Tennyson assistant coach and scouting director Kyle Lang. "Our coaching staff has learned over the years that incorporating practice routines as well as off-ice testing gives us a better overall evaluation of each player's level of commitment and work ethic."
On Tuesday, camp resumed with a stringent off-ice testing regimen, designed by strength and conditioning coach Rob Speer. The testing, which included strength and core work, was also complimented by speed testing that took place in 96-degree weather. All players were properly hydrated thanks to the efforts of the team's trainer Sherrie Springer. Following the off-ice training, the players were assigned to teams and the games began.
Tuesday's and Wednesday's games were high-spirited and high-tempo games played in 25-minute halves and provided the team's coaching and scouting staff along with the team's owners a lot of insight into what would be the make-up of the 2012-2013 team.
Tennyson's managing partner Keith Lang stated that he was very pleased with the fact that all of the team's prospects were present at camp and that there was a very talented group of young players, which gives the club great promise for the future.
On Thursday, two all-star games were held. The first game, the futures game, pitted the camp's youngest and brightest prospects and the second included a majority of this year's final candidates. After both games, coaches met with each player and discussed each player's fate and the organization's plans for each prospect.
"Overall, I think this was a very well-ran and informative week," said forward Steven Sewell, who will play midget hockey this season. "I know I have a lot more knowledge of what I need to work on and how I need to train to play at the junior level."
Young players impress at tryout camp
Three of the youngest players that attended tryout camp were the most impressive.
Ryan Kwolikoski and Jacob Bates, two 1995 birthdates, and James Stacey (a 1997 birthdate) all had no problem playing physically and all proved that they are capable and have the skill level to play at the junior level.
Kwolikowski is a speedster with great hands and vision of the ice who likes to drive the net. Bates is a player the coaching staff has been watching for quite a long time. Bates is a power forward in the making. Stacey was spotted by Keith Lang at a midget tryout as he was passing through a rink en route to a meeting. His skating and the strength in his stride are impressive, as well as his willingness to muck it up in the corners.
Chapman named as team captain
Speedy forward Zach Chapman has been named Tennyson's team captain for the 2012-13 season.
Chapman, who stands just 5-foot-4, was one of the big stories of the 2011-2012 Great Lakes Junior Hockey League season with the Motor City Chiefs.
"We are very pleased and honored to name Zach as our captain," said the coach. "Zach's work ethic, commitment to his team and dedication to the game was one of the most impressive things I have seen in my 30-plus years as a coach. I know that Zach will help make that type of dedication part of our everyday habits. Chapman started last season as a player that was supposed to not break the taxi squad and ended up being a player that we used in every situation and was invaluable to our everyday play.
"We have spent a lot of time over the summer talking about him taking this role and we think he will be a great captain."