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Faith Lutheran achieves Nevada high school milestone By Matt Mackinder


istory was made on Dec. 14 at City National Arena. That night, Faith Lutheran High School shut out the Utah Selects high school team 4-0 in front of a packed house at the Vegas Golden Knights’ practice facility. The team is coached by Pokey Reddick, a former pro player in Las Vegas and longtime youth hockey coach. What made the game a historical one is all the players on the Crusaders attend Faith Lutheran. “It is so very special,” said Faith Lutheran general manager Craig Thornton. “It is rare enough that a new hockey organization is formed, let alone the first high school team in the 154-year history of Nevada. Our team and school do not take this once-in-a-lifetime blessing lightly. Our students, faculty and fans feel the same way as they packed City National Arena out the doors, close to 1000 of them. It was unbelievable.” Thornton added that the inaugural home opener was “absolutely electric.” “We had a complete sellout, and the energy in the building was incredible,” said Thornton. “We were very fortunate to open at home with a 4-0 shutout against a very good Utah team from Salt Lake City. All in attendance agreed it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, all while witnessing high school hockey history.” Moving forward, Thornton sees nothing but excitement and growth. “We have exceeded any expectations for our inaugural season and the exciting thing is we just started the

season,” said Thornton. “I can hardly wait to see what the been an individual effort. “The humility and support of this school’s administrarest of year one has to offer. Our plans have always been to build a program that is second to none, and to gain a tion, our hockey organization and our student-athletes – all national presence along the way. We envisioned initial work hard, taking it in stride and absorbing everything in a phases of this journey to consume our first 3-5 years. To manner that represents Faith Lutheran principles and morour surprise, we have had multiple inquiries already from als as we wear our shield proudly,” Thornton said. “This families outside of our region, wanting more information is an educational institution with an incredible reputation about Faith and the hockey program. Our success is in Las Vegas for nearly 40 years that is proud to display largely due to our coaching staff. Pokey has coached for our faith as the forefront of our education process. In addition, the incredible support from over 15 years at the AAA level, the Vegas Golden Knights and taking multiple teams to state City National Arena has been just and national championships while grooming student-athletes fantastic – a group of professionto be good citizens and positive als from top to bottom, supporting youth hockey in Las Vegas contributors to our society. with ourselves and the Jr. Golden “More and more, we are seeKnights with anything they can do ing families show their desire to has been such a blessing. have this sort of balance for their “With the kind of exposure student athletes, rather than an we have experienced, our Board ‘all or nothing’ experience.” The Faith Lutheran roster is Faith Lutheran High School players celebrate a goal of Directors has approved expemade up of forwards Zachary during the inaugural home opener on Dec. 14 at City diting our long-term agenda by taking the high school program Ditmore, Colin Driscoll, Jack National Arena. Photo/Radioactive Productions Edlin, Matty Johnson, Hunter Keech, Kyle Martin, into more of a national presence beginning next season Noah McAnallen (also plays defense), Joseph Naylor heading into the northeast and possibly Canada. With a (also plays defense), Phillip Stromer and Jacob Walo; large number of returning skaters, our roster openings are defensemen David Fadell, Colton Fleitz, Tucker small, and we feel the caliber of skater we will produce can Smith and Andrew Thornton; and goaltenders James represent our school and program well.” Brendel and Zack Ortolano. Reddick is joined by asFor more information about the Faith Lutheran High sistant coach Joel Blasko. School program, contact Craig Thornton at flhshockey@ Thornton added that getting to this point has not

FROM THE TRAINER’S ROOM Sport-specific training: Let’s look at the truths and the myths W

ith sports specialization at a young age becoming the norm, how about the question of sport-specific training? Social media and marketing suggest that all athletes should train specifically for their sport using cool-looking exercises that mimic specific sports. Are these training programs truly helping your athlete or making matters worse by overtraining the same movements or performing exercisChris Phillips es that the athlete is not prepared to do? I do agree that we need to look at the demands that will be placed on an athlete and devise a program to help meet those demands, but we still need to look at basic movements and flexibility that is required to play sports in general. We see many “cool” exercises performed by elite athletes that help them become better players, but can your athlete squat correctly, lunge correctly or touch their toes? Do they have the core strength to even hold a proper plank for 30 seconds or the cardio capacity to play a game without getting tired? Renowned strength coach Mike Boyle notes, “Does a fast baseball player look any different than a fast soccer player? The answer is no.” Probably the biggest concern I hear from parents is that their kid needs to get from Point A to Point B quicker. Improve their acceleration by improving mechanics, power and strength. These are things ALL athletes need to work on. The truth in sport-specific training is that we do need to look at the different demands placed on athletes and the injuries that are common in their sport. The myth is that we can not overlook the basics of athleticism, which are flexibility, stability, speed, strength and power.

Chris Phillips is an athletic trainer and strength and conditioning specialist with over 20 years’ experience in professional hockey, football and soccer. Chris is the owner of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Orange County.


Profile for Rubber Hockey Magazines

California Rubber Magazine - January 2019  

Check out the latest edition of California Rubber Magazine, featuring the LAKHSHL's Santa Barbara Royals on the cover!

California Rubber Magazine - January 2019  

Check out the latest edition of California Rubber Magazine, featuring the LAKHSHL's Santa Barbara Royals on the cover!