GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – Jaxon Rogers was already riding high from a gold-medal win at the atom invitational in Grand Falls-Windsor in late January.
Not long after that, young Rogers got some more good news.
It was the day after his team won gold. He got home from school on Jan. 29 and his stepdad, Brian Rice, was waiting for him with the news.
“It was pretty cool. When I found out the news, I was pretty excited,” said the 10-year-old Cataract.
As it turns out, Rogers was scouted during the annual atom invitational by the DHP (Delaney Hockey Program) Battalion, which is coached by provincial senior hockey veterans Ryan and Keith Delaney of the Clarenville Caribous.
Rogers was asked to travel with the team to Halifax for the Atlantic Cup, which takes place June 1-3.
This tournament has a history as being one of the most highly regarded tournaments for players of many ages, so Rogers is honoured and thrilled to be asked to compete.
Not only was Rogers proud, but his mother has also been beaming with pride since news broke of her son’s achievement.
“I was really proud of him, I have to say,” said Hollie Rice, who joined her son at Windsor Stadium. “He’s so dedicated to the game, and between me and Brian, we’re at the stadium about 10 hours a week with him. I help out with his Atom A team, too, so I get to see a lot of his games.”
Rice said she’s been learning more and more about hockey over the years. Brian Rice is an official and has been teaching her the rules of the game.
With a newfound knowledge, Roger’s mom understands the game more, which makes it more enjoyable for her when watching her son compete for the Cataracts.
“I actually know what I’m talking about now,” she said with a laugh. “Jaxon is very smart and he makes smart decisions when he’s in the defensive zone. He always knows where to put the puck so his teammates can pick it up.
“If need be, he can also take the puck and go on a rush. He’s scored a few times…Bobby Orr style.”
Rogers hasn’t met his new teammates yet, but he’s excited to start practicing with them before they head to Halifax together.
He said he thoroughly enjoys playing hockey in Grand Falls-Windsor and representing the Cataracts at various tournaments but is looking forward to making new friends and competing out of the province.
He hasn’t had a chance to speak with his new coaches, but when he does, he might have a little fun, depending how the semifinals of the Central West Senior Hockey League playoffs go.
“We might talk about it, you know, for fun,” said Rogers, referring to the Cataracts playing the Caribous. “It all depends if the Cats win or not (laughs).”
As part of the process, Rogers’ family is fundraising to help offset the cost of Rogers’ trip. Donations are welcome at email@example.com. More information on the DHP program can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org