Broncos looking for bench boss

Darryl Worms leads fellow Meadow Lake Broncos players in a practice session at PineRidge Ford Place on Flying Dust First Nation Oct. 8. The Broncos’ first home game this season is set for Nov. 15 against Beardy’s.

Darryl Worms leads fellow Meadow Lake Broncos players in a practice session at PineRidge Ford Place on Flying Dust First Nation Oct. 8. The Broncos’ first home game this season is set for Nov. 15 against Beardy’s.

by Phil Ambroziak

The Meadow Lake Broncos, who made it all the way to the league finals last year in the Beaver Lakes Hockey League, are gearing up for another season.

Last Wednesday evening, 19 skaters and two goalies took to the ice as they prepare for the 2014-15 season.

“Practices have been underway for close to a month now at PineRidge Ford Place on Flying Dust First Nation,” remarked Broncos president Glenn Dennis Jr. “We have a few new faces this year, as well as quite a few returning players. But, we are still looking for a head coach.”

Last season’s coach, Kevin Arnold, chose not to return this year and, according to former coach and current Broncos player Darryl Worms, it’s essential the team has someone behind the bench with good leadership qualities.

“That’s the type of person we’re looking for,” Worms said. “It takes quite a big commitment to be a good coach. Kevin did a great job last year. He’s had a big part in taking us all the way to the finals.”

While Worms and Dennis both feel the Broncos have a chance to succeed again this season, they did admit it will be challenging considering the league’s changing landscape. At a recent BLHL meeting held in Birch Hills, it was announced the Debden Jets and St. Louis Blues would be taking a leave of absence for a year. The addition of the Beardy’s Blackhawks, however, has resulted in a five-team league. The remaining teams include Big River, the Birch Hills Blackhawks and the North West Rebels from Leoville.

“All the teams are going to be competitive this year,” Dennis said. “As for what I’ve seen of our team so far, things are pretty impressive. You never know for sure until the season starts, but I predict we’re going to have a very strong team again.”

Worms agreed, noting there are several new players who show promise, and he hopes they decide to stick with the team as the season progresses.

“We do have a couple of young guys who can really skate plus most of our core guys are back from last year,” said Worms. “We’re going to have another great team.”

As for the arrival of Beardy’s, a part of Saskatchewan renowned for its strong hockey tradition, Worms said it shouldn’t make too much of a difference as long as the Broncos remain focused on the task at hand.

“I’m never worried about any other team,” he said. “I just worry about our team and about having a good, solid league to play in and that’s fun for everybody. It’s going to be an entertaining season.”

The BLHL season officially gets underway Nov. 1. Meadow Lake’s first game is Nov. 8 in Big River while the Broncos’ home opener is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 15 against Beardy’s.

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