Walking into the Michael Johnson Performance Center (MJP) on a regular day, one would most likely find college and professional athletes training with intensity. On Monday, July 9, the atmosphere was a bit different. Fifty children ages 9-12 from the Boys and Girls Club of McKinney took over the outdoor field running, laughing and learning – all with a hockey stick in their hands. It did not take long to see a new appreciation for the game of hockey and a love for the Dallas Stars. At least 55 new fans were made on that field!
The event was not only special for the children, but even more so for the members of the 2012 Dallas Stars Development Camp prospects who worked as a team to host and coach the children. Upon arrival at Michal Johnson Performance, the children filed through a tunnel of the players for Hi Fives and “Go Stars!”
The event kicked off with a welcome by Brent Severyn, former Dallas Star and leader in local hockey. Warm-up and stretching was led by MJP instructors. Then the kids broke into groups and moved through various hockey skills stations, which gave them a chance to get one-on-one instruction from top prospects such as Brenden Dillon, Reilly Smith and Scott Glennie. They learned basic skills like passing and shooting, before playing in a scrimmage of their own where the kids fought to score on the Dallas Stars goalkeepers. One young man earned 2 goals in the scrimmage.
PHOTO GALLERY: For more pictures from the event, click here.
The BGCCC kids’ excitement was matched by the players. This was seen through their enthusiasm in coaching and enjoyment spending time with the kids off the field. The children flooded them with questions about their road to professional sports, how far they had traveled for Development Camp, learning to speak English and offered a few tips about what makes Dallas great. Following the hockey session, the group shared lunch, stories and signed autographs before heading back to Development Camp at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter in Frisco.
The annual development camp is a chance to get a closer look at the newest additions to the Stars organization, as well as an opportunity for the players to get to know the Stars community. The Boys & Girls Club of Collin County will be attending a game this season and the Dallas Stars expect a rowdy section of their new fans!
|The Stars prospects and the Boys and Girls Club kids after a great game of street hockey |