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A classy team

Hockey has not always been known as a “sportsman’s sport.” We see examples daily on television that demonstrate all of the attributes we advise our players to never participate in.

A recent game in which the Brainerd Peewee B2 team that I coach beat a very good Woodbury team was different. During the game I noticed hard play, good passing and respect from both teams.

Afterward, I witnessed eye contact during the handshake, comments like “great game, coach” and a few smiles. The Woodbury team then clapped as we got our trophy.

That sort of thing is typically unheard of. These same boys, I learned later, had filed out of their locker room before the game to thank a veteran in the stands.

Each thanked the gentleman for serving for their country. They all smiled and shook his hand, and some even saluted. I had not noticed this, because I was in my own locker room getting my team ready.

I learned about it later when that veteran, my dad, told me the story. He was equally impressed by this group of kids — and by their coach, Steve Wills, for teaching them that the game’s outcome is much less important than the actions of the kids who play it.

What a great example of classy coaching and a classy team.

Dalen Hodge


Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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