Today is the day....

by Joe Bertaccini

Here we go…year #8 at AdventHealth Center Ice. Hard to believe that we have called Wesley Chapel home for the last 8 years, but honestly, there is no other place we would rather be. None of this is possible without the unwavering support we receive from Consuelo, Adam, and the entire Florida Sports Coast organization. They are so committed to bringing this event back year after year, and we could not thank them enough. Similarly, it would be foolish for us not to recognize the staff at AHCI. Transforming their facility to host this event is no small task! It requires a lot of planning, coordination, and hard work that often times goes unnoticed. As the tournament operator, we understand this and appreciate all they do to continue to bring this event back to Wesley Chapel in their world class facility.

Now onto the event! 269 teams will be competing at this years TORHS National Championships. Another record number for us, and we could not be more excited! As an organization, we are always looking for ways to improve the experience. Our goal is to ensure our attendees have the best experience possible while at TORHS Nationals. If there is something we are missing, or something you believe we can improve on, please don’t hesitate to stop one of our tournament directors, or track me down. We will be happy to assist.

Speaking of our tournament staff, is there any doubt that we have the best tournament staff in the sport?!?! These guys and girls are second to none. Working with them on a daily basis, you realize what a special group this is, and TORHS would not be TORHS without the exceptional work they all do! Please be sure to take a moment and thank a staff member if you have the chance. I know they will appreciate it!

With 269 teams, I could write a novel on the builders that make this event what it is….But I would like to highlight 3 in particular for what they do to keep this sport rolling….

 Rob Ferrara with Carshield has an astounding 27 teams competing in this event. Rob is a titan in the sport and one of my favorite people to spend time talking to because of all the stories he can share across his multiple decades in the sport. St. Louis has had its ups and downs over the last 5 years, but it is currently one of, if not THE top market in the sport, and a key to that is what Carshield and The Blast have built!

 Peter and Lisa Dale are a model organization in so many ways. It really is a family run operation here, with Dillon and TY heavily involved in the success of Farm Tough. The animals will be running wild this year with 17 total teams competing. Peter does so much good for the sport, he is so passionate about teaching, and cares deeply about his players. And Lisa is one of the most organized people I deal with in the sport. She is the glue that keeps such a large organization together!

Finally, one of my very best friends in the sport. This guy is the original member of the TORHS Hall of Fame(btw, its pretty obvious we need to revisit inducting some new members….mental note for 2025 😉). Jason Muro and his Black Ice organization have a whopping 16 teams competing this year. We call Jason the Scotty Bowman of roller hockey because there is not much this guy hasn’t won. But his passion for the sport, and TORHS specifically, are UNMATCHED. He has been a staple at TORHS from its inception, which is crazy to think about. Unfortunately, he will be missing one of his favorite players and biggest fans this year, but nonetheless, I expect to see Black Ice racking up the championships!

There are so many others that deserve to be mentioned for what they do to build successful programs and/or teams. It is because of you we are able to host an event like this. The dedication, passion for the sport, and countless hours do not go unnoticed. If you are one of these people, THANK YOU!

Last but certainly not least, it is important we recognize the players, and their families, that chose us this summer! We are so grateful for your support. We understand many of you give up your valuable vacation time to spend it with us. In return, we hope to help create memories that will last a lifetime. Please enjoy your time with us, cheer on your favorite athlete’s, be respectful of your opponents and the officials, and most importantly have fun!

If there is anything at all that either myself or Ron can assist with, please feel free to track us down.

Travel safe, and we look forward to seeing you at the rink!