Cents Spring Camp This Weekend:

Although I’ll have more on the Cents Spring Camp in the next day or two, here’s the article from today’s Merritt Herald.

Cents’ spring camp this weekend

By Ian Webster – Merritt Herald

Published: March 31, 2010

Our city will be hoppin’ with hockey players this Easter weekend as over 60 prospects from around B.C., Alberta and the western States invade the Nicola Valley to take part in the Merritt Centennials’ second annual spring evaluation camp.

“We have them coming from as far away as California and Arizona,” states Cents’ head coach Luke Pierce. “We even have a player from Germany. He spent this past season playing with the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Vernon.”

Most of the prospects coming to camp are bantam and midget-aged players, adds Pierce, with many already packing major midget and junior B experience. “We have 10 goalies registered, 15 or more defensemen, and over 35 forwards.”

There will be a strong contingent of local talent on hand at the three-day camp which will take place at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, including Russell Sanderson, Cole Fex, Eric Schmidt and Brendan Colter from the Tracker Sports Tier 3 midget team that attended provincials in early March. In addition, Merritt’s Briar McNaney will be in camp after spending this past season with Invermere of the KIJHL.

Pierce will be aided in his assessment over the three days by Cents’ assistant coaches Maury Grant and Josh Yurkowski, along with team personnel from several KIJHL teams such as Golden, Fernie and Princeton.

“We’re going to try and cram a couple of years’ worth of scouting into one weekend,” explains Pierce, who only assumed the Centennials’ head coach and general manager positions in November of 2009. “And if we see something good enough, we won’t hesitate to make a commitment.”

One player to keep an eye on, according to Pierce, is Regan Soquila, 17, the younger brother of graduating Cents’ captain Jordan Soquila. Regan played this past season with the Northeast Chiefs of the BCMML. The head coach projects that as many as 20-30 of the participants in this weekend’s evaluation camp will earn invites to the Cents’ rookie or possibly main camp in late August.

The schedule for the spring camp sees scrimmages Friday at 5:15 and 7:00 p.m., Saturday from 1:15 p.m. right through until 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday at 9:00 and 11:30 a.m. There will also be a goalies-only session on Saturday from 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. with former Centennials’ puckstopper Jamie McCaig (1999-2000).

Anyone wishing more information about this weekend’s camp can contact Pierce at the Centennials’ office (378-3607).

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