Organised hockey in Cayman has only
been around for a couple of years. One of the names that has been involved in
all of its forms from inception is Darryl Hather.
The Vancouver native is currently
juggling involvement in three local hockey competitions. He is a player and the
team captain for the Lone Star Barracudas ball hockey team and the High Rollers
roller hockey club. In addition he serves as a referee for both leagues and
helps out with the Logic Youth Roller Hockey League.
In the youth hockey ranks he
coaches the Stuarts Panthers in the Pee Wee (13 and under) division alongside
Dan Etherington. Hather is team-mates with Etherington on the High Rollers and
recently saw Etherington coach a travel hockey team, called the C.I. Kings, to
an outstanding showing at a Deerfield Beach, Florida tournament.
Hather, who turns 32 on Halloween,
is currently the general manager at Alba Special Systems and has been in Cayman
eight years. He states his commitment to the sport of hockey comes from a love
of suiting up and skating, no matter the surface.
“I’ve played ball hockey since we
played at the Baptist Church but I only played there a couple of times before
we moved over to Kings,” Hather said. “I’ve been involved with roller since its
inception. I play hockey because it’s my favorite sport and I love being part
of a team. My best memories as a kid are being a part of a team and working
together to achieve a goal.
“I miss the organized practices and
having a coach, I like the discipline that’s involved. I started on the LOM
ball hockey team because I was introduced to Baz Durzi who was the captain at
the time. I’m on the High Rollers because I captained the team until this year.
Sometimes I’m at Kings (Sports Centre) five days a week but I still manage to
play some squash and hang out with my wife. It’s really only two hours a day so
it’s not that big of a deal.”
On the rink Hather’s hockey skills
are undeniable. In ball hockey his Barracudas team have been one of the better
sides throughout the years, winning the 2009 title last December and making the
finals last season. His High Rollers hockey side is arguably a dynasty, winning
three championships in the last five seasons. In both disciplines Hather has consistently
been among the leading scorers from the centre position.
As for 2010 Hather states his
expectations are measured for both clubs. Behind the likes of Rob Seward and
Mark Thompson the Barracudas are looking to overcome the CIBC Islanders, who
won a title with hockey veterans Mark Missal and Jamie Lyon. The High Rollers
are coming back much the same as last season with talents such as Chris
Creighton and Eric Mildenberger though goalie John Cowan left the island.
Nevertheless Hather still expects both clubs to be title contenders.
“Both of the teams are hard working
and both can definitely compete for the championship. The High Rollers have
lost some offence and our star goaltender but we’ve added some quality guys to
fill those holes and we’ll be just fine.”
Hather and the Barracudas are in
action at the Logic arena on Thursday against the Deloitte Devil Rays at 9pm.
Before that the Islanders face the BDO-CML Pirates at 8pm. Like many Canadians,
Hather is a staunch National Hockey League fan. To no surprise he pledges his
allegiance to the Canucks and expects great things from the likes of goalie
Roberto Luongo and company.
“Growing up in Vancouver you’re a
Canucks fan for sure. I spent a lot of time at the Pacific Coliseum and then GM
Place as a kid, my dad had season tickets for 20 years before we both moved
“My favorite Canuck at the moment
is Ryan Kesler and I have his jersey. The Canucks are considered Stanley Cup
favorites and anything short of winning it will be considered a failure to most
fans. I think it will take a couple of more years of long playoff runs before
they get there. But when they do it will be awesome.”