Monday, April 24, 2006

WAHA Boys Bantam Festival

The WAHA Boys Bantam Festival took place this weekend in Green Bay at the Cornerstone Arena. The rosters for the eight teams from around the state can be found here.

I spent time watching every team, in varying lengths and at varying times. I was also spending time watching the girls WAHA Festival on the second rink, so I really only had a chance to see which kids "jumped out" at me from each team. It shouldn't be a surprise that most of the kids that stood out were 1991 birthdates, and I'll identify any that were 1992 birthdates.

Team Spooner finished last in the tournament, but had some players that stood out including defensemen Nick LaRue and Josh Wineinger. Forwards Rob Dorrance looked good and I felt Cody Johnson really stood out for them.

Zachary Downing for Team Beloit was solid at defense, and I thought Michael Valentine showed flashes at times. Up front Tyler Lundey and 1992 birthdate Noah Nelson created the most opportunities for Team Beloit.

Team Waukesha Maroon dominated in the games I saw them play. The fact that they had only three 1992 players on their roster probably helped them greatly. At forward Joe Bertram, Sean Little, Kord Miller and Jonathan Roessler looked very good. None of their D stood out as they weren't tested much (Waukesha Maroon beat Beloit 9-1).

Eight 1992 birthdates played for Team Schofield Gray. Among them forwards Ryan Belonger looked good and Max McCormick showed flashes of putting it all together. Kyle Borrell is a 1991 forward that also stood out. On defense Eric Johnson had quite the presence. From what I hear, he has scouts taking a look at him already.

A trio of forwards had a chance to showcase their talents for Team Schofield White. They are Brandon Free, Calvin Richardson and Parker Tomczyk.

Team Waukesha Red was anchored by defensemen Brian Kemp and Reimer Tucker. Up front Brian Berger and Andrew Schmitt did the heavy lifting.

Team Eau Claire really had a lot of weapons on offense, but just could not capitalize on their talent during the weekend. Derrick Dillion, Jordan Guth, Matt Johnson and Nick Widing all played well at forward, as did Ross Anderson on defense.

Finally, Team Appleton did well on the weekend winning 2 out of 3 games but really didn't have a lot of players stand out. This was likely due in part to the fact they had eight 1992 birthdates on the roster. Their goaltenders Kyle Miller and 1992 birthdate Eric Smith both played well helping this team quite a bit. On offense I liked Wesley Wauters and Ben Verbeten, while none of their D stood out.

While I had limited viewing time and I wasn't able to provide a lot of specifics on players, it will be interesting down the road to look back at this and see how these kids fare.