The Cowichan Valley Capitals have put a wrap on what must be considered a very disappointing and trying season.
After all, a 10-win, 46-loss season wasn’t what the club had in mind when they started the 2017-18 season with high hopes. Being the only entry in the 17-team British Columbia Hockey League not to qualify for post-season play hurts.
There are good reasons for the lack of on-ice success this year, but neither players nor management are looking for excuses. As the team gathered for their awards banquet, all the one-goal losses and the alarming string of injuries were being deposited in the memory bank.
‘Stormin’ Norman Jackson, the head pro at the Cowichan Golf & Country Club and the emcee for the evening, suggests people don’t always appreciate what a junior hockey team does for a community. Things like community pride and economic spinoffs are often difficult to measure, but they’re real.
The relationships that develop between players — many of whom are imports from the States or Eastern Canada — and their billets is tremendous. Without exception, the young athletes spoke of the family bond that had grown throughout the season as the billet families welcomed them into their homes.
Many of the players said they enjoyed the mentorship of the fathers in the home and the mothering that billet moms provided. Clearly youngsters in the homes loved the idea of having a “big brother” who played for the Capitals.
Coach Brian Passmore said he was proud of this team’s willingness to help with various events in the community including visits to area schools where the Caps players are considered role models.
Having a well-run junior hockey program in the Cowichan Valley is a huge plus for the community.