By Amira Van Leeuwen
KYLE – Sounds of parents cheering for their kids and wooden hockey sticks striking against one another echoed throughout Ash Pavilion – which was soon followed by the sound of old rock music, like the Ramones’ Blitzkrieg Bop.
Kyle Hockey Hell’s 8 hosted 15 hockey teams from the Rio Grande Valley, Louisiana, San Antonio and Kyle at the pavilion, located at 1231-1301 W Center Street in Kyle, for its Ironman Tournament on July 30.
With entry fees and donations, Kyle Hockey raised approximately $2,700 which goes back into the development of the youth program.
The Ironman Tournament is where two, four-player teams compete for eight straight minutes with no substitutions and represents a way for people to come together to play across Texas.
The nonprofit organization had five teams playing in a total of three divisions: youth, single-A and double-A – the single-A is a lower division adult league while the double-A is a league with higher-skilled adult players.
The Junior Narwhals won the championship against the Hays Chupacabras (6-0) in the youth division. In the single-A division, the Benchwarmers won the Championship against Kobra Kyle (2-1). The double-A division champions were the Kyle Krakens, who won against the Senior Sharks in overtime (1-0).
“I want the city to know that they didn’t build a pavilion for nothing,” said Stephen Crane, president of Kyle Hockey.
Crane thought the tournament was a big step forward for inline hockey presence in Central Texas.
“This is the first of many Ironman and full-team tournaments that will continue to promote hockey and develop players,” Crane said.
San Marcos resident Jenny Adams’ three children play in the league. Her son, Rhett Adams, 9, said he likes playing offense more than defense.
“I don’t like playing defense because you don’t get to score as much,” Rhett Adams said.
Jenny Adams said that everyone loves hockey when they try it.
“Kids that sit at the computer and don’t enjoy sports have loved playing in the league. It’s been fun watching all the kids improve each game as well,” Jenny Adams said.
Rio Grande Valley Roller was also in attendance.
“Roller hockey in Texas is on the come-up,” said Nathaniel Mata, president and coach of Rio Grande Valley Roller. “Folks here in Kyle are a big part of that [growth], and we’re happy to be a part of [it].”
Community members were able to support Kyle Hockey through the purchase of concession stand food or Ironman Tournament t-shirts and monetary donations. Individuals can also support Kyle Hockey by coming out to play or spreading the word about the organization.