A hockey coach shares his perspective on teaching kids

There’s a reason the “Teacher” comes first
I have talked in the past about people in coaching and about the fact that most of us don’t realize — no, don’t have any idea — about how much influence those prep “teacher/coaches” have on our kids.
What we see is the “coach” who is on the sidelines, excited about what is happening in the meet, contest or game in which their charges are involved.
Many times they become emotional.
What we don’t see is what goes on behind the scenes. What happens away from the action. This, too, many times becomes emotional, but in a different way.
The counseling, the confiding, the extra step and time a coach may take to assist one of his charges indicates the heart any good coach pours into the job.
The personal — human if you will — touch a coach may offer to a kid is invaluable, but in any good coach, it’s just part of the job.
That’s the “teacher” that emerges from any one of the people who are working with kids.
In the vast majority of cases, these coaches go about their duties and don’t take much time to reflect on the “teacher” aspect of their duties.
Fortunately, what they do comes naturally. With experience they are more able to reflect on the athlete they are working with and develop techniques that make them even more effective in assisting young people.
Most go through their careers taking for granted those unseen challenges. They ride through the ups and downs of their tasks, reacting to the many outside influences, but mostly remaining the “teacher” of the kids.

Any sport can offer insight
Not a lot of coaches take time to write a book. One did. You should try to get your hand on a copy.
A hockey coach from Warroad, Dennis Fermoyle, has written a book that falls in the “near-must-read” category.  
The book, “In The Trenches — A Teacher’s Defense of Public Education” — is a compelling narrative of his 31 years’ experience in the classroom.
Fermoyle certainly calls on much of his experience behind the bench in a hockey arena, but that too, becomes a part of his classroom.  
Before you jump on the bandwagon that is rolling through our country today to condemn our public educational system, read the book.
Fermoyle puts into words the feelings and frustrations of many in public education — across every part of the spectrum — who are barraged on one side with criticisms, while being blind-sided on the other with policies created by people with little understanding of the needs.
The hockey coach from the far north touches on a wide range of subjects.
Many are policies which control what is happening in our schools today, over which those who are responsible for carrying out the duties of educating our kids, have no control.
Not too surprisingly, he puts the emphasis for responsibility in the classroom, on the shoulders of the people most directly involved — the kids.  
Additionally, he offers the wisdom of experience — from both a teacher’s and award winning high school coach — for some common sense solutions.
Everyone who is concerned, should take the time and effort to get this hockey coaches’ view of life in today’s classroom.
Before one more law is passed — curtailing classroom control by teachers and school administrators — Fermoyle’s book should be on a required reading list for every state and national legislator.   

Quick takeoffs
Congratulations to HILL-MURRAY boys hockey players DEREK McCALLUM and NICK LARSON, who were named to the All-Tournament team of the recently held Boys State Hockey Tournament . . . NORTH grapplers, TOM FLORIN and MATT McQUISTON, who recently competed in the State Class AAA Tournament, were the first wrestlers to represent NORTH since 1980. The fourth place finish by FLORIN, gained him All-State honors — McQUISTON was one match away from the same. “This was our best year in the history of NORTH High — going back to 1956,” stated an elated NORTH coach CRAIG ZUPKO. Great going gang ! ! !  . . . And speaking of wrestling, look for good things down the road for TARTAN’s 112 pound phenom, TROY MORRISETTE. He’s only an eighth grader who already qualified for State Tournament competition two consecutive years! HILL-MURRAY grad MATT CZECH was a senior on this year’s ST. JOHN’s University men’s hockey team this past season . . . RYAN PETERSENNORTH 2003 grad on the hockey line that included NATE “Mr. Hockey” DEY and SEAN GARRITY, has moved on to play for ST. NORBERT College. Recently, in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) playoff finals, PETERSEN — he finished the season
with 7 goals, 8 assists and 15 points — scored the first and last goal in an 8-2 rout of UW-SUPERIOR that propelled the Green Knights into the NCAA Division III final-four. PETERSEN and the Green Knights traveled to ELMIRA, NY. where ST. NORBERT gained the finals with a 5-4 overtime win, before losing 0-3 to MIDDLEBURY College. The Green Knights finished the season with a record of 25-5-2.  Great going “Petey” ! . . . And speaking of books and hockey, another new publication featuring former NORTH hockey greats, FRANK SANDERS and CRAIG SARNER — along with TARTAN assistant boys hockey coach JIM McELMURY — authored by identical twins, TOM and JERRY CARACCIOLI, is drawing national attention. “Striking Silver — The Untold Story of America’s Forgotten Hockey Team”, depicts the tales of the individuals responsible for the silver medal won by the 1972 U.S. OLYMPIC Hockey Team, in SAPPORO, JAPAN . . .  You have until April 7, to register — and three months to train — for the July 23-28, 17th Annual MS (Multiple Sclerosis) TRAM. The annual 6-day bike tour will cross MINNESOTA and into WISCONSIN on a southern route this year.  The event raises funds to combat and find a cure for the debilitating chronic illness. For info and registration call ANGIE HUME 612-335-7931, or go on-line at: ahume@mssociety.org. . . . TARTAN may have finished the boys’ basketball season on a less than hoped for note — they had an enviable mark of 22-6 — when they missed going to the State Tournament for the 8th straight year, but things are looking good down the road.  The Titans’ boys’ ninth grade team finished the year with a 16-0 record! . . . TARTAN grad JASHA OLSON recently went 4-4 at the plate for the UND  women’s softball nine. OLSON leads the Fighting Sioux, with a .552 batting average in the early going of the softball season . . .   The next time you think, “I can’t.” here is a near unbelievable note. NICK SCHOTT, a ski jumper from the Blackhawk Ski Club — MADISON, WI — recently competed in the Junior Olympic competitions and had some of the best jumps of his career. What makes his 4th place finish in the recently held — JII, 50 meter ski jumping competitions — worth noting, is the fact that SCHOTT competes with a prosthetic leg ! ! ! . . . Hey RUTH you hang in there !

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