With many leagues in the region and throughout the province wrapping up their championship titles throughout March and early April, it’s hard to believe that anyone could be planning for the start of next year’s hockey season already.
But that’s exactly the case with Elmira’s Tony Code, who is busy organizing his first Woolwich Hockey Academy at the Woolwich Memorial Centre during the last two weeks of August for players in the Atom, Peewee, Midget, and Bantam levels.
“The timing of the camps are the two weeks prior to tryouts,” said Code, who was the coach of this years OMHA-champion Minor Atom squad in Woolwich. “It’s good for some of these kids to get the summer rust off and get their mind back on hockey.”
The program runs from Aug. 22 to the 26, and Aug. 29 to Sept. 2. The Atom and Peewee camps will be full-day affairs starting at about 8 a.m., revolving around three hours of on-ice drills like power skating and skill development, and about two hours of off-ice conditioning and exercises.
For the Midget and Bantam levels, the camp will be in the evenings during those same days from around 5 to 9 p.m., consisting of 90-minutes of on-ice work and scrimmages, and about another hour of off-ice conditioning as well. The Midget and Bantam camps will be run by John Lunney and Joe Amlinger, the coaches of the Minor Bantam A team that lost in the OMHA finals last weekend to Uxbridge.
Code has more than 30 years experience as a hockey player and instructor, having played forward for the Kitchener Dutchmen for three seasons from 1991 to 1993 and winning the Sutherland Cup in 1992. From there he went on to Western Michigan University on a hockey scholarship where he played three more seasons.
He also worked as an instructor in Michigan, and was the off-ice trainer and conditioning coach for the Wellesley Apple Jacks for several seasons. He has been a coach in Woolwich minor hockey for the past four years.
While attending the University of Michigan, Tony met his wife Maria, who is a Division I champion gymnast and has worked as a coach from beginner to elite-level gymnasts. Maria will be working with the Atom and Peewee players in the off-ice conditioning portion of the program.
Beyond the obvious hockey benefits of the program, Code also says the timing of the program can double as preparation for school in September.
“It starts to get the kids in a bit of a routine for going back to school as well. I know that parents like that their kids are going to work hard and have pretty full days which can help build their routines back up so going back to school isn’t as big of a shock.”
Prices for the camp range from $300 per week for the Atom/Peewee camp ($225 for goalies), and $325 for players in the Midget/Bantam camp, and there is a $10 discount for anyone who signs up before Apr. 15.
There is also financial assistance available through Friends of Hockey program.
For more information visit the website, www.woolwichhockeyacademy.com.