CORNER BROOK Dave Clarke volunteered to take over the day-to-day, behind-the-scenes organizational duties that allow the West Coast High School Hockey League to exist.
Not one to simply be satisfied with the status quo, the St. James Regional High School principal is hoping to see the league expand. Five teams were on the ice last year, including the St. James Regional High Saints, Stephenville High Spartans, Elwood High Lakers and two teams out of Corner Brook Regional High.
Clarke said he sent out invitations to pretty much every school on the west coast, hoping to get more teams — and subsequently, more kids — involved.
“All the schools from Rocky Harbour, Piccadilly, Appalachia, Stephenville, Deer Lake, Port aux Basques and Corner Brook,” he said. “We’re waiting to hear back now.”
The schools have until Oct. 22 to determine if they’re going to enter a team, at which point Clarke will proceed with scheduling and other off-season issues.
One topic of discussion will certainly be whether Corner Brook Regional High will enter two teams again and whether those two teams will have balanced rosters.
Last season, the school had both a Titans Black and Titans Gold squad, but the Black team was far superior to the Gold club — and every other team in the league as well.
The Titans Black went undefeated, rolling over every opponent, en route to a championship won when the rest of the teams forfeited the playoffs. The Titans Gold finished in last place and missed the post-season.
“I don’t know,” Clarke said of the prospects of two even teams coming from the region’s largest school. “They probably have enough players for three teams, but I don’t know what they’re going to do.”
Sean King, last year’s Titans Black coach, believes the decision is made.
“The last meeting I was to, I think they basically decided there was going to be two balanced teams,” he said, adding a search for coaches is on and he’s not sure if he’ll be back or not.
“Everyone had to put in applications,” he said.
Clarke, meanwhile, admitted that scenario would probably be best for the league.
“It would be really positive if it was two equal teams,” he said.
Another change Clarke would like to see is an elimination of some of the on-ice behaviour that’s inexplicably tolerated in hockey that wouldn’t be acceptable in other high school sports, such as fighting and profanity.
“It is high school kids involved and we’d like to see some of the rules and regulations from high school carried over,” he said.
“We’d like to be able to have a league — the kids really enjoy hockey.”