It’s a schedule maker’s nightmare, but a hockey lover’s dream.
The Sherwood Park Kings Athletic Club rep hockey program is hosting its seventh annual Kings Day event on Saturday at both the Sherwood Park Arena and the adjacent Shell — an event which features all 11 of their male and female hockey teams in action on the same day.
The event was the brainchild of past Kings president and current event organizer Dave Schotte, who is thrilled that Kings Day has only gotten bigger over the years.
“When I was president, Kings Day was one of the more special days for me,” he said. “It’s why I wanted to come back and help out with it. I’ve always loved it. I think it is a great opportunity for the players to give back to their community that has supported them in a more visible fashion. We do things like bottle drives and all sorts of fundraisers where the community gives to us, now this is our chance to try and give back to the community on one big day.”
Kings Day features a heavy charitable component.
“It really comes in two forms this year,” Schotte said. “The first is raising money for the CASA House, which is the mental health facility in Sherwood Park. There has been increasing knowledge and awareness of mental heath and we are finding that it is more prevalent than I ever thought. CASA House is a facility that is great for our community.”
CASA House’s mission is to advance the mental health of infants, children and adolescents through family-centred clinical services, education, research and advocacy.
“We are also doing a big push for the food bank,” Schotte continued. “At this time of year it is always in need and we are making an extra special push with all of the visiting teams also expected to bring food items in with them. We are shooting high. We have progressive 50-50s, we have raffle baskets, we have Kings apparel to sell. The games themselves are all free, we are just asking people to donate to the food bank when they come.”
Any local team that comes dressed in team apparel with a donation to either CASA House of the Strathcona Food Bank will have their team name entered into a draw for a team pizza party generously donated by Canadian Brewhouse.
The event allows all of the SPKAC teams to be in the same venue and cheer each other on, just one of the aspects that makes the event so attractive to the players.
“It is a special event because we do extra efforts, so all of our teams are fed game day snacks and drinks that are provided by sponsors,” Schotte said. “We are doing live national anthem singers, in fact we have Edmonton Oilers anthem singer Robert Clark coming to do one game. He’s from Sherwood Park and still lives here and it is great that he has said he will come out and help us out. The mayor is coming to do the opening ceremony puck drop and we have some honorary captains from the minor teams that feed our program. Puck drops will be done by Kings alumni, we’ve got a lot going on.”
Longtime Kings stats guy John (Jaydee) de Munnik will also be selling the official record book for Sherwood Park hockey, a comprehensive tome that covers all Park rep hockey stats from 1976 to the present day.
“I personally will be first in line for that,” Schotte said. “It is so cool to see players from well before I was involved. This is from the time when Ken Hitchcock was coaching Midget AAA out here and it will be great to have that out there.”
There will be four games at the Arena.
The Bantam AA S.P. United Cycle Flyers go up against the Edmonton Maple Leafs at 10:45 a.m.
The flagship Sherwood Park Midget AAA J. Ennis Kings will face the St. Albert Raiders at 1:45 p.m. at the Arena.
The Sherwood Park Midget AA female Fury host the St. Albert Sharks 4:30 p.m. at the Arena.
The Midget-15 AAA S.P. Squires take on the St. Albert Flyers at 7:30 p.m.
Five games take place at the Shell.
The PeeWee AA Sherwood Park Jets and Steel Kings will have an all-Park production when they go up against each other at 10 a.m.
The S.P. Bantam AAA female Royals clash with the North Central Impact at 11:45 a.m.
The Bantam AA Leafs and Sabres will face each other in an all-Sherwood showdown at 2:45 p.m.
The Midget AA S. P. Oilers will host the Sturgeon Sting at 5:30 p.m. at the Shell.
The Midget-15 AA S.P. Senators tangle with the Grande Prairie Storm at 8:30 p.m.