ROCKLEDGE, Fla.— When the Space Coast Rockets step on the ice they only have one thing on their minds.
“Hockey, hockey, hockey,” said Colin Sneed, a 10-year-old ice hockey player.
This 10U travel hockey team isn’t like the others.
“It had been four plus years since this rink had any travel hockey,” said Rich Sneed, Space Coast Rockets Head Coach.
A long break meant the program had to start from scratch.
“We held tryouts and we had the right group of kids come out. We had enough. Just enough for a team. So we had ten skaters and we had two goalies,” said Coach Sneed.
That was all they needed to make history.
“Sometimes I look at those banners up there and I can’t believe they are up there. I am speechless,” said Coach Sneed.
“It was really amazing. Like it was the best moment of my life,” said Luke Nistorenko, Space Coast Rockets Goalie.
“I was so happy. I was proud. My mom gave me a big hug,” said Colin.
It was a season that started with a question mark.
“It was crazy because we just thought we were going to go in winning maybe one or two games. We didn’t really have a lot of expectations,” said Tiffany Petersen, a Space Coast Rockets mom.
“States was something that we just talked about,” said Coach Sneed.
Soon enough they realized something special was happening.
“Then we started winning and kept winning, said Petersen.
“Every week coach we are still in states right? We are still in states boys,” said Coach Sneed.
“You could tell they were working harder. They were hustling harder and they just really had the determination to be on top,” said Petersen.
“We went to the state tournament and we were seeded number one in the state tournament and we won every game,” said Coach Sneed.
They ended the season with an explanation point.
“These boys have the fire under their belly that you just cant teach it was just something special,” said Coach Sneed.
For these guys their success came as no surprise.
“We hustled. We played like we meant it like we wanted to play,” said Colin.
“We just played as a team and we worked together, played hard, and tried our best and that’s how we won,” said Luke.
An everyday example of a true team.
“They want to win for each other not just for themselves. There is no I in team type teams,” said Coach Sneed.
“The team means a lot I just love hanging out with the boys. They are the reason why we got here,” said Nistorenko.
“They are there for one another. When someone’s not having a great day the other one picks up the slack,” said Petersen.
So now every time the Rockets end practice, a sign of a new era hangs above them.
“I look up at those names and I am like yup that is the group I wanted to see on the banner and I just swell with pride,” said Coach Sneed.