Comets Go Bowling with Jr. Comets Elite
by Keith VeronesiFeb 23, 2016
As the Utica Jr. Comets Elite season begins to wind down, the 2004 and 2006 teams celebrated a season of success with their Utica Comets mentors at Pin-O-Rama bowling alley. While the Utica Comets mentorship program has helped develop the youth players on the ice, perhaps the most exciting part of the program has been the development of the relationships created off the ice. While the bowling party served as a team celebration, the individual relationships that have been formed between the AHL mentors and the youth players will help mold the young athletes on and off the ice for years to come.
There was friendly competition throughout the day, as the youth players and mentors teamed up against their teammates to see who would be crowned the champion. At the end of the day, though, the scores didn’t seem to matter, as the young players were more interested in spending quality time with their mentors instead of beating their teammates in a game of bowling.
While the coaching staffs for both elite teams have continued to see the growth of each player, the parents have noticed a change as well. Jason and Rachel Shafer, parents of 2004 Elite player Jason, said, “we have noticed with our son since he became involved in the mentorship program is that he feels like he has become part of something bigger and he is building a lasting relationship.” Jason, who is mentored by Taylor Fedun, has someone he can continually look up to and go to for advice that he might not be able to get at home. Between the on-ice and off-ice interactions, as well as the text messages exchanged, the relationships between the elite players and AHL players has blossomed into something special.
Despite what the future may hold for some of the Elite players, as well as the Comet players, the past season will prove to be an unforgettable one for members of the 2004 and 2006 Elite teams. The youth players have someone they can continually look up to as they continue down a path to ultimately achieve their goals.
A special thanks to Pin-O-Rama for helping make this party possible!