Friends and Teammates
How unheard of is it to hear that an 18 year old has been with the same sports organization his entire athletic career? With the population leaving teams, states, and organizations, it has almost become unheard of!
I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with four gentlemen who played as Tigers through CSAHA (Colorado Springs Amature Hockey Assocaition) since they were young boys up until age 18 in tier one Tigers hockey!
I sat down with each of these boys and asked a series of questions, getting to know each of them, and their experience through CSAHA.
CSAHA hockey is a Colorado Springs based amatuer hockey association dedicated to the growth of their players. Teaching exceptional development skills and qualities to all players CSAHA helps each individual become the best they can be. CSAHA is unique in the way that they adapt teams to meet the needs of each player’s lifestyle and skill level. Many different levels are offered including a recreational league, travel leagues, the adaptive program and the nationally recognized tier one program.
I sat down with Adam Alldredge, who is extremely down to earth and genuinely loves his time playing with the Tigers. Adam, number 22 and Captain of the team, said his favorite part of being a part of the Tigers hockey association is the welcome he receives when he returns each year.
When I asked what he wants CSAHA to remember him for he mentioned the home and family feeling aspect. He said that playing for a tier one team has not only shaped his focus and determination in hockey, but also in life. Adam said that the focus and drive has made him a better person on and off the ice. Adam was described by his teammates as being the jokester. “You never know when he is being sarcastic or when he’s being serious” said one teammate. Staying very driven and focused on his goals on and off the ice, Adam spends his days in the gym working out three times a day. “Chest is his favorite day” was a running joke in the room.You go Adam!
Taber, number 4, started with CSAHA when he was 6 years old. He said being a Pikes Peak Miner was his goal along with playing for the Colorado College Tigers. Growing up going to all their game drove him to be better every single time he stepped on the ice and gave him a goal, even at a young age. Taber wants CSAHA to remember him for his positivity and always showing up with a smile on his face. This definitely stands true as he was grinning through our entire chat! CSAHA means a lot to him, mentioning they are his second family and how deeply he appreciates being able to return each year to continue his hockey goals. Some of his best memories have been playing with the other three guys. He said they are his closest friends and a very tight group. This friendship helps them during games and practices, knowing where the other person is on the ice. Playing Tier One hockey has helped him with his goal of getting to juniors and continuing to D1 hockey. Taber stated that being a part of the program has helped him outside of hockey and in life.
All of these boys had one common answer to the question “What would you tell a Tiger that was just starting his hockey career?” Without any hesitation or time to think they all said “Stay”. Through the highs and the lows, nobody will care about you the way the association cares about these players! CSAHA is truly a welcoming community for anybody desiring to start playing hockey. With all variations that CSAHA offers, everyone has an opportunity to grow.
Tylor Greene, 21, has been with CSAHA since he was 5. He mentioned that staying with one organization shaped his hockey focus in the sense that growing up together made it “where [he] never wanted to leave”. Tyler loved, not only sports, but CSAHA so much that he grew up always wanting to be at the rink, or shooting pucks. The organization means everything to him. Coming back everyday to try harder but remembering to have fun is the lifestyle of this place. They always push you to be the best you can be. I asked him to tell me what it is like playing with his three close friends. He said that their uniqueness brings them closer. Tyler stated that “We are all so different, but come together with the same goal and that drives our friendship”. Tylor and Adam have never played on a team without each other which makes the ice feel like home for them. Tylor told me that being with CSAHA has made him a goal driven, organized person and player! The Tier one program has helped him focus on what he wants to do in life. It motivates him to work hard for something that doesn't feel as big right now. He wants CSAHA to remember him for his work ethic and hard work.
Johnny, number 6, was the last boy I sat down with. All the boys mentioned that he was the “Dad” of the group. He was extremely down to earth and came in with confidence and excitement to chat with me. He learned how to play hockey from a close friend who still plays. Johnny started playing hockey with these boys when he was 8 and has never looked back. Making sure to include his teammates and keeping everyone in line has grown to be his passion and brings him back to the ice every day to try harder. Consistency has been big for Johnny being a returning player. Knowing what to expect each year has greatly helped him with his hockey career and focus. Johnny mentioned his favorite memory of the season has been when his teammate, Taber walked into the rink, ready to go, and forgot all his gear at his home. Laughing, mentioning his surprise that “It's the only thing we all make sure we have when we leave the house!”.
After speaking with all of these boys, it was easy to see that playing for a Tier one program has shaped them on and off of the rink. It has given them the determination in life to set a goal and achieve it, helping them with their work, balancing life and work ethic.
These boys determination and loyalty to CSAHA is something to be proud of. Each being so unique and individualized in their hockey progression. I loved learning each story and cannot wait to hear all of the exciting things that their future in hockey holds.
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