Nearly 60 hockey players attended the Weyburn Gold Wings' spring camp over the weekend at the Tom Zandee Sports Arena to showcase their skills and talent.
Team coaches had plenty of talent to pick from during the two-day event, which saw players get put through a number of drills and evaluations before the weekend culminated in a scrimmage between the players.
Head coach Darren Larson explained they will have some tough decisions to make as to who to keep, as they have 16 players returning next year, two open spots and 25 girls who could probably make the team based on their talent level.
From the 60 girls at the spring camp, the team will invite back roughly 30 to the fall camp in September and have another look at them, he continued. It is nice to have that much talent to pick from, but the team will have to be fair to some of the girls and make those decisions in early summer, so the team can let the girls know whether they have made the team or not.
The girls came from every area of the province, which is an indication of just how good the Gold Wings program has become over the years, Larson explained. With the players returning home to different corners of Saskatchewan and telling their friends and other hockey players about the team, the interest in Weyburn picks up.
The players are also getting better themselves, due to the on-ice program the Gold Wings have in place, and the off-ice programs as well, such as team workouts at the gym and trips to the Western Prospect Hockey Development centre.
"We're pretty happy with how our program is going. (We'll) just keep things rolling," he added.
During the training camp, Larson and the coaches had the opportunity to watch some "high-end" forwards demonstrate their skills. There will also be five girls who weren't there on the weekend coming in the fall for the coaches to evaluate.
The Weyburn Gold Wings finished in fourth place during the 2009-10 season, racking up a 15-10-1-2 record for 33 points. The team lost to the Saskatoon Stars in the first round of the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey League playoffs, falling 2-1 in the best-of-five quarter-final series.
More information about the team can be found at www.weyburngoldwings.ca or www.sfmaaahl.com.