Rain Rain Go Away

On a rainy afternoon here at Dreamsports Center....wait a minute...how dare I?!?!  Let's start over.

On a rainy afternoon here at XL Sports World, we are cruising right along.  I have been coming to this facility for years, and its always great to be back, seeing a lot of familiar faces.  This market used to be one of the country's best, but has been slipping over the last few years to a point where we just barely got our event off the ground last year.  I am happy to say that with new ownership in place, and renewed energy, the Raleigh market seems to be once again on the right path.  

Speaking of the new ownership, I had the chance to meet Chris, who is part of the new ownership group, and it sounds like they are in good hands.  There are marked improvements in the facility, and a lot more in the works! 

As for the people, the Raleigh SPEED organization has pretty much become the house program, and Julie Malone is such a wonderful person to work with. She has so much energy, and you can tell how much she enjoys being around the rink.  We appreciate the support Julie and coach Drew Beason have shown us over the years, and look forward to seeing continued growth with the SPEED organization.

Jay Kromenhoek, and long time team manager Kelly Textor are in the house, and have now partnered up with Jerry Fecteau to form the NC Mission Sting. They have 14u and 16u teams, and have their sites set on Kalamazoo this summer, and we are looking forward to seeing them in Kzoo.  They have become one of our most loyal groups over the years, and we really appreciate the support!

Bob Robinson has his Carolina Force program playing in their first roller tournament of the year, and we are hopeful they find their way to Kalamazoo this summer.  Sounds like they are making every effort to get there, and it would be great to see them once again playing for a TORHS 2Hot4Ice National Championship.  I have been following Bob's sons Alex and Zack ice hockey seasons, and its great to see "roller" players excelling on the ice.  The FORCE program has a number of players playing AAA ice so its obvious roller has been a tremendous asset to these kids...

With 34 teams competing this weekend, the biggest thank you goes out to the Pittsburgh Tour Bandits and Winchester Warrior programs, who both brought their entire programs in from their respective hometowns.  Both of these program are preparing for Kalamazoo with their eyes set on One National, One Champion!

Speaking of Kalamazoo, I have spoken to many who believe that Kalamazoo is their program's best option this summer because of the fact they have the ability to play for One National Championship.  We agree, and believe it is important to be able to compete for a true National Championship.  Each year, we put a lot of emphasis on making TORHS 2Hot4Ice Nationals the event of year, but we think this years event will be better than ever.  For those who have never been, Kalamazoo is an amazing town with a lot of great restaurants.  The Kzoo airport is super convenient from Wings Event Center, and we are only 45 minutes away from Lake Michigan which is a destination in and of itself.

Downtown George Brown and Dave 'McShake' are here with me in Apex, and George has promised to check in with you later....Trefty is the man on the camera, and we will have highlight videos posted a bit later...Speaking of George, we had another epic battle of basketball at Dave & Busters last night, and you might not want to bring it up to him, as it is a very touchy subject, seeing that he AGAIN failed to come out on top....sorry Georgie, better luck next time!