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Letter: Teaching Much More Than Hockey

To the Editor:

There are many challenges for the parent of an 11- or 12-year-old hockey player. It starts with the reaction to team selection after tryouts and continues through late practices in distant rinks, games at opposite ends of the state on the same day and, for some teams, losses that far, far outnumber wins. Meet Hanover Wild Peewee Blue.

However, the quality of this team is poorly measured by its standing in the Granite State league. This group of boys is truly a team, led by Coach Terry Bowen. Coach Bowen comes into the locker room smiling and leaves smiling. He is generous with his words of support and is helpful with instruction. It is easy to coach a winning team; it is far harder to stand tall when the team loses game after game.

Coach Bowen is doing far more than coaching hockey; he is teaching our boys how to act like men, and not just men but gentlemen. He insists the boys wear dress shirts and ties to every away game and that they shake hands with their opponents, opponent coaches and the refs at every game. The boys on Pee Wee Blue are being led by a gentleman who chooses to impart much more than the key elements of being a good winger or defenseman. The key elements for the team led by Coach Bowen are respect and team play. In practice, he may be working on positional skill development, but the real work is going into teaching these boys how to be responsible community members. Thank you, Coach Bowen!

Sheryl Stotland

Norwich

Andy Bernard

Hanover