Youth skaters nab fresh props

Youth hockey in the Cayman Islands recently earned fresh props from an overseas organization.

The Cayman Islands Kings Youth Hockey travel hockey team recently attended the Sunshine State Games in Ft. Myers, Florida. The 10 and under squad would bring back a gold medal while the 12U side earned the runner-up spot in their age group.

As a result Stephen Rodriguez, Vice-President of the Florida Sports Foundation, commended the Cayman Islands and its hockey programme.

“We would like to congratulate the CI Kings for winning at the Sunshine State Games,” Rodriguez said. “This is the first year the Sunshine State Games has opened participation to competitors from outside the US, which has traditionally been for Floridians only. We were excited to have teams representing the Cayman Islands in the Sunshine State Games, supporting our new international initiative. We hope to welcome the CI Kings back next year to our competition.”

The Sunshine State Games, now in its fourth decade of competition, is the nation’s oldest State Games and is Florida’s largest and longest multi-sport festival. The Florida Sports Foundation, based in Tallahassee, is the official sports promotion and development agency for the state of Florida.

For the CI Kings, who celebrated its one-year anniversary in June, the success at the Sunshine Games validates the youth hockey league. In all 17 players from the Logic Youth Roller Hockey League represented Cayman. The leadership of Ethan Hersant, Jamie Williams and Ryan Lloyd on the court carried the 10U team. Meanwhile special mention goes to Hunter Wilkom, Danny Link and Josh McCartney for their defensive grit while Alex Jones and Matthew Wilkins created many scoring opportunities.

Kings head coach Ray Singh states the results were a great end to months of preparation.

“It was a blast for our kids,” Singh said. “They put the hard work in the past five months and it paid off in the Ft. Myers. We were an underdog team on opening night, but by the end our kids were taking home medals and trophies.

“The organizers and referees were extraordinary and not enough can be said about the sportsmanship of the other teams and coaches throughout the tournament. It was a great story-book weekend and we can only hope to have the same success in future tournaments.”

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