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    Non-contact hockey now an option for Chestermere bantams

    The participation rate decreases for kids heading into bantam hockey, and it’s not hard to figure out the reason, so the Chestermere Minor Hockey Association is trying to fix that.

    While the CMHA will still ice teams that compete in the Central Alberta Hockey League, they will add ones for the Rockies Hockey League this upcoming season.

    The RHL is non-contact for bantam and midget, so the CMHA will have teams in both division, giving teenagers who aren’t interested in the more physical game a new option to stay within the association.

    “When you get to bantam and there is body-checking, it turns some kids off,” said CMHA president Shane Hainstock. “We want to keep them playing.

    “We put an ad on our website and had an information session last month, and we had people whose kids who hadn’t registered for hockey in Chestermere there.

    “These are kids who have skated but never played organized hockey and now they are interested in playing. That’s a good thing. Our registration numbers increase next season giving this option.”

    The CMHA would like to be inclusive and give everyone a chance to play the game, so this is a way to get more kids involved heading into their adult years.

    There is much less of a burden on travel as well, as the Rockies has teams from Cochrane, Canmore, Banff, Airdrie and Okotoks.

    The CMHA will have teams in the RML for younger divisions as well, and the number of them will depend on interest. Hainstock feels there should be enough registration to move forward right away.

    “We’re not sure how many teams we will have,” Hainstock said. “We project one team in midget, one in bantam, two teams in peewee and two in atom. That’s what we project for the number of teams for each one but that may change depending on new registrants or kids want to play hockey that way.

    “This is a pilot year for us to see where we are at. When we gather some information from this year and possibly the next season, we will refine how we’re going to set our teams in both leagues.”

    A few weeks ago we missed the award winners for midget and junior-C divisions of the Chestermere Minor Hockey Association.

    Here they are:

    Midget 1A

    Most sportsmanlike: Bryce McPherson

    Most improved: Brody Lester

    Most dedicated: Nolan Bailey

    Players choice award: Tyler Tillapaugh

    Midget 2B

    Most sportsmanlike: Jordan Hassett

    Most improved: Carson Rawlysuk

    Most dedicated: Bryson White

    Players choice award: Cole Ross

    Midget 3C

    Most sportsmanlike: Joshua Mutch

    Most improved: Caiden Watson

    Most dedicated: Tyler Gingras

    Players choice award: Tyler Gingras

    Jr C

    Most sportsmanlike: Dylan Maisonneuve

    Most improved: Zach VanVlaanderen

    Most dedicated: Josh Rains

    Players choice award: Mark Anderson