Tier 1 Program Brings Excitement, Determination and Passion to the 2019-20 Season.
With training camp and a new season set to begin next week the Colorado Springs Tigers Tier 1 program has a lot of excitement building and if this last week is any indication work ethic and a strong club atmosphere won’t be an issue. As local and out of state players get set to start school, players have shown a great attitude and willingness to put in some extra work. From veterans to first time Tigers the SDC (Skill Development Center) has been very busy this week as guys are showing up to get some extra strength, shooting and agility work in. The Tier 1 program like its players has a great mix of returning and new coaches and staff. “Our off season has been very busy as we continue to drive a great culture within our program” stated Tier 1 Director Kevin Holmstrom. “We push every day to offer the absolute best training, academic and development opportunities available to our athletes. The culture we are driving takes a tremendous amount of work and more great hockey people than I can mention, we are very fortunate to have so much support and equally excited to get going.”
This year’s U14 team, led by Joey Carroll is "new again" and looking to get off to a great start. The Tigers have had U14AAA in the past but it has been a few years and this group is excited to get going and state their case. Coach Carroll on the coming season “Our organization and staff is very excited to add 14s to the Tier 1 program. We’ve designed a tremendous schedule that will maximize age appropriate development for this team. We’re very fortunate to have assembled a team consisting of competitive players eager to be a part of a special season.” The teams first look will be in the Avs Cup Sept 6-8 in Denver before traveling to Minneapolis Sept 19-22.
The U15s are also led by coach Carroll who is in his second season with the 15s. Last years group was very successful in player development which shows in the number of players prepared and moving directly in to the U16AAA ranks. “Returning as the head coach of our 15s is a humbling honor to say the least.” stated coach Carroll. “I’m personally excited to recreate all the positives from last year and determined to take a tremendous step in a more competitive direction. Every season faces new challenges, our 04s are determined to embrace and overcome them as a team.”
The U16AAA team will be led by Ben Warda who brings a great playing resume and coaching experience in the NAPHL. Coach Warda had this to say about his team as they look ahead “I like our team make up and expect to bring a high tempo energy to our players. Our team will focus on unity, passion, skill development with a team first mentality. We will drive our programs culture and compete as a national contender.” The 16s will open the season at the Avs Cup as they look to make an early statement.
The U18 team looks to build on last year’s strong campaign as they return nine players and a total of sixteen with Tiger experience. Kevin Holmstrom will again lead the U18s and has a great deal of confidence as camp opens next week. “We really like our entire group of players, coaches and staff and look forward to getting on the ice next week. We have a great mix of guys, will be difficult to play against top to bottom and expect to win” stated Holmstrom. “Our guys are quietly confident but extremely driven and bring great chemistry day one which is exciting, we have high expectations.” The 18s will also open in The Avs Cup followed by a busy Sept/Oct with trips to MN, MI, NE built around its in-state games.
The Tigers teams will dive in to a challenging two weeks of training camp and be ready to open the season in September. All of the AAA teams will be on display Saturday Aug. 31 in its annual Black and Gold games at the WA-NHL. The U16/18s will start the day with a game at 1:15pm followed by the U14/15s at 3:15.
The Tigers Tier 1 program is a proud member of the NAPHL. The NAPHL is operated by the NAHL’s experienced staff and provides an organized and competitive experience guaranteed to benefit all of the participating student-athletes. The NAPHL, which is sanctioned by USA Hockey, is designed to maximize the exposure of all the Midget and Bantam participants through the NAHL’s high-profile recruiting events which attract hundreds of college, junior and professional scouts.