Golden Hills School Division is proud of the remarkably successful partnership between the UFA Bisons and Strathmore High School. “It is a partnership that really is in the best interest of the student/athlete” claims Associate Principal and Assistant Coach Doug Raycroft. “We have taken a situation where students were driving 8-10hrs a week in the winter evenings and changed it into a program where the students/athletes are billeted in Strathmore and worked the hockey team into our school setting”. Rick Valette, President of the Foothills AAA Midget Hockey Association said, “Our draw zone incorporates Canmore, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks, Airdrie and the Strathmore area. The partnership made sense in every aspect from the student/athlete perspective.” At Strathmore High student players with the Bisons take sports performance related classes and practice during the school day. This has allowed the players to have more success academically and athletically.
Valette also helped identify a coach mentor in Dan MacDonald, who is also a teacher, to coach the UFA Bisons and mentor the AAA Association. MacDonald has coached for many years and has applied his expertise as a teacher into his coaching. With MacDonald as a mentor the association has three provincial championships, a silver medal at Westerns (Bantam AAA) and a pacific championship with the Midget AAA team. Dan has also helped out the Strathmore High School Hockey Academy and the Westmount Elementary School Hockey Program over the last two years. “The success was inevitable within the partnership with Strathmore High School and the Bison organization” said Coach MacDonald, adding “the acceptance at the school level has played a significant role in the success of the team. Players are supported in every aspect of their student/athlete life because of the strong support and leadership from administrators Gary Reagan and Kyle Larson”. Coach MacDonald is also grateful for their support to Doug Raycroft in his role as assistant coach. "We are very fortunate to have Doug Raycroft who has such a strong hockey background to help coach the hockey team, it is the ultimate partnership", he said. It is this ultimate partnership that has led the Bisons on the road to yet another championship.
This year the UFA Bisons have won the provincial championship, and the pacific championship. They leave April 18th to Quebec in an attempt to win the national championship at the Telus Cup.
We wish the Bisons the best of luck on the road to this championship. You can follow their journey to the national championship at the Hockey Canada website:
The Bisons will represent the Pacific Region at Nationals April 20-26 in Riviere Du Loup Quebec
Congratulations to Austin Wong who won the Most Valuable Player award for the Pacific Championship.
Congratulations to Sebastian Kilcommons for being selected as the Esso Scholarship award winner. Sebastian received a scholarship for his efforts in education, citizenship and hockey.