Every year, the month of September brings the most amount of change to a varsity athlete’s year. Not only do we have to familiarize ourselves with a new class schedule, but we must also adjust to a new team and group dynamic. Some players find it easier to adjust than others. Veteran players, for example have already dealt with the change of new surroundings, making friendships and knowing their role on the team. On the opposite side of the spectrum, rookies face a tougher challenge. Entering a new team and school can feel awkward and intimidating. However, beneath all the nerves there is a glimpse of excitement ready to be drawn out. A large factor in uncovering this excitement is the support systems surrounding that individual.
This season will be my fifth year with the Guelph Gryphon family and I have never seen a recruiting class this large. In my opinion, the vets on this team have done a wonderful job in creating an environment that allows our rookies to feel welcomed and immersed into a positive support network. Almost every returning player has been assigned a first-year player to mentor throughout the season. The role of the mentor is to provide guidance and answer any questions she may have regarding school, hockey or even life. This automatically establishes a bond between the older and younger players of our team. I have no doubt in my mind that the off-ice chemistry seen throughout the team will only get stronger!
On the ice, the Guelph Gryphons opened pre-season play with two wins against the Windsor Lancers. Once again, our rookie class stepped up to the level of competition and contributed to over half of the scoring. This shows that our team will carry much depth within the line up on both the offensive and defensive side.
The rest of September is quite eventful for our team. This upcoming Thursday, the Gryphons are jumping on a plane to Calgary to play the University of Calgary, University of Alberta and University of British Columbia. During our stay, we hope to tour the Olympic Park and Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. And finally, to top off a great month our team is embarking on a wilderness adventure by going camping next weekend as a team building exercise. I’m sure it will be an experience we won’t forget!
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now,