The Fort Saskatchewan U17 AAA Rangers have announced their full coaching staff.
The Rangers, who are coming off a second-place finish in provincials last season, will have all new coaches behind the bench with Brett Kramers in the head coaching spot and James Groneau and Roger Kramers serving as assistants.
Kramers says that he knows Roger very well.
“Roger is actually my father…he helped me last year with the team I was coaching at Southside Athletic Club,” said Kramers. “He’ll be focusing on more of the forwards side.”
“[He was] kind of a mentor coach to me and my assistant coaches last year and this year he came back on with me.”
Groneau, on the other hand, brings a variety of experience coaching at the AAA level but also some AJHL experience.
“He’s coached all over, he’s been involved in the AJHL as a head scout with Drayton Valley,” said Kramers. “I thought he would be a valuable addition to the staff this year.”
“He’s been an extremely big help, and he will be doing most of the defense side of the team this year as well as helping me with some of the special teams.”
Kramers hand-picked these assistants to help get the team over the hump and win a provincial championship. So far, with training camp starting earlier this week, the hope is high for what the next season holds.
“I’m really excited to have them both on,” said Kramers. “They provide a different side to the game than I bring and it’s always good to have good dialogue and good conflict on staff.”
“I have a great great repertoire with both of them.”
While skill is a very important part of the game, Kramers and his staff will be on the lookout for players who can gel both on and off the ice.
“We’re looking for the best character kids,” said Kramers. “We really are about the development of the kids on the ice and off the ice and I think that is what we are most excited for.”
“Looking forward to the season for sure.”
The U17 AAA Rangers are set to begin their preseason on September 20 against the Parkland Saints. Their regular season begins on October 7 as they host the Calgary Northstars at the Dow Centennial Centre.