Home»Sports & Outdoor»New Year, Fresh Start: A Competitive Season for the Southern Oregon Spartans Spurs Growth

New Year, Fresh Start: A Competitive Season for the Southern Oregon Spartans Spurs Growth

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Photo submitted by Coach Martin

Now a third of the way into their season, the Southern Oregon Spartans are primed to end 2019 with strong momentum and are looking to the New Year with optimism. Their goal? Get back into the win column and make the playoffs. 

“We started the season off with a great opening weekend, winning both of our first home games, and we have continued to face much tougher competition since,” said Head Coach Dylan Martin. “But the team has really come together throughout the difficulties, and I know they are excited for the back half of the season.” 

The Spartans swept the West Sound Admirals in their two-game opening series back in October, ending the month with their first road-win as they again defeated the Admirals in a 7-1 victory. This came on the heels of a tough, at-home losing streak to the 2018/2019 Thorne Cup finalists and division foe, the Ogden Mustangs. 

With a current record of 3 – 17, it’s been a season of growth for the Spartans so far and there’s still some developing to do, but Martin remains positive that the team’s strong bond and comradery will help fuel their continued success. 

“One thing I love about this team is their sense of affability and fellowship for one another, both on and off the ice,” noted Martin, an attribute that’s evident on road trips filled with late-night hotel pizza and frequent rounds of their favorite game, “Bus Tag.” 

“Anytime we leave a restaurant or store as a team, someone will undoubtedly tag one of their teammates and race ahead to the bus, prompting the rest of the team, including the coaching staff, to take off in pursuit. The last one to touch the bus has to then stand up in front of the entire team and sing a song, no matter how bad that may sound.”

The overall sense of community felt throughout the team is particularly significant given this year’s roster, which is filled with several new players and a diverse mix of personalities, backgrounds and skill sets.

“We have a unique blend of older and younger players on the roster, including fresh-faces from around the globe and some more seasoned than others but each with a lot of heart,” he said. “Everyone understands that we’re trending in the right direction as a team, learning together and adapting to new systematic plays that will help us to execute correctly.” 

Now that all players are finally healthy and eligible to play, the team is gearing-up for the WSHL Showcase, the premier junior hockey event taking place in Las Vegas, December 17 – 20. This four-day hockey getaway will pit the Southern Oregon Spartans up against the Wichita Jr. Thunder, Barrhead Bombers and San Diego Sabers, with more than 100 college and pro scouts expected to be in attendance and on the hunt for fresh talent. 

“Junior hockey by definition is about preparing athletes to play at the next level, whether that be college or professional hockey, and attending the Showcase gives players a chance to taste what that next level is like,” said Martin. “Along with the potential opportunity to get recruited, I’m confident that this year’s Showcase will provide a great lesson for these young men to take with them as they continue their playing career.”

 

Southern Oregon Spartans vs. Seattle Totems
7:30 pm, Friday, January 17
The RRRink, 1349 Center Dr. Medford, OR
$10 – $13

 

Southern Oregon Spartans vs. Seattle Totems
7:30 pm, Saturday, January 18 2020
The RRRink, 1349 Center Dr. Medford, OR
$10 – $13

 

 

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