Meadow Lake family moves to North Battleford for better competition
By Mac Christie
A decision by Meadow Lake’s peewee division to take a leave of absence from the Centre Four Hockey League has caused one 11-year-old goalie to ply his trade elsewhere.
Roddy Ross is playing this season for the peewee AA Battleford Barons.
His father Marty said the move is simply to have Roddy play more competitive hockey.
“The way I was brought up,” he said, “if you’re not playing against the best then you’re not going to be the best, you’re not going to get better.”
But playing for Battleford has meant some sacrifices for the Ross family.
Roddy’s older sister, Delaney, 14, plays for the AAA Battleford Sharks hockey team.
When Roddy moved to play in Battleford, the family decided to move their three children, Roddy, Delaney and 12-year-old Hailey, to the area to keep them together.
So their mother Ruby got a job and place to live in the area.
“We wanted to keep all the kids together,” Marty, who remained in Meadow Lake, noted. “We thought it would be easier if we kept them all in the same system, instead of splitting them up.”
Although Delaney had played in Battleford prior to this season, Marty added the family wouldn’t have moved if Meadow Lake had kept their peewee team as part of the Centre Four League.
“If there was a AA team they would have stayed back and played in their hometown,” he said of Roddy and Hailey.
The move has been difficult for the kids, as they’ve had to change schools and make new friends.
“It’s a little tough to make new friends,” noted Roddy.
However, he added he thinks playing Battleford is good for his hockey career.
“The players are top-notch,” he said of his competition. “But I think it will improve my skills because the shots are more challenging.”
His coach, Bob Kenny, agreed.
“He’s definitely a good goaltender,” he said. “He’s also a good kid and a good team player.”
“It gives a chance for (him) to play at a higher level,” he continued. “You get a chance to play against some of the top teams in Saskatchewan throughout the year.”
Kenney added playing AA helps players move to a higher level of hockey, but noted some of the players may drop out of hockey when they get older.
“Who knows,” he said their future in hockey. “But right now, they’re playing the best hockey they can.”
For his part, Roddy hopes playing in Battleford will help him reach that higher level.
“I’d like to go somewhere one day,” he said.