In 2016, Black Biscuit FishHawk started with a couple of kids with a passion for hockey and a few dads with a passion for their kids. Today, they are the defending National Champions. They now have a sizable recreational league that has tripled in size with players from age groups 8U-16U during the fall and winter months and four travel teams (8U-14U) as well. They also boast nine corporate sponsors and two team sponsors, including their main sponsor, Black Biscuit, a hockey equipment and apparel company from Minnesota.
The travel program is a year-round program and the teams are based on tryouts. The recreational league is for FishHawk residents only. They play in tournaments throughout the year and they practice at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex. At the end of May, they will compete in regionals, and they hope to qualify for nationals at the beginning of July to defend their title.
According to Coach Wes Reid, the organization’s goal is to establish themselves as one of the elite hockey programs in the nation. “We are already a household name at the national level and the future is bright if we continue on our upward trajectory. Our philosophy is, ‘If we can, why not?’”
Through fundraising efforts, they have brought in position-based coaching and provided scholarships and equipment assistance as well. “If I get one of my players an education out of this, my overall goal will be achieved,” said Reid. “Too much emphasis is put on winning these days. Our vision is to create and foster a culture of development instead of a win-at-all-cost attitude. You start winning once you focus on team culture and development.”
According to Reid, the organization is the only youth team sponsored by Black Biscuit, the others are all professional teams. “They have been a phenomenal partner in this journey. They are what every sponsor should strive to be, no question. None of this would be possible if not for the community outreach and flowing support of our corporate sponsors. Community support is vital to all youth sports programs. Obviously, the best investment we can make as a society is in our children.”