USA Junior Hockey Magazine — July 2009
Change Language:
Arizona Redhawks
Joshua Boyd

Redhawks ready to storm onto Western States Hockey league scene

Here’s the recipe for a new rivalry: the Arizona Redhawks are getting ready to start up their Western States Hockey League tenure in Phoenix, a town long associated with the WSHL powerhouse Phoenix Polar Bears.

“There’s plenty of room for expansion,” said Redhawks general manager Greg Schursky. “We’re about 50 minutes apart, so it’s two different markets.” Additionally, the Redhawks have their own approach, their own philosophy, one that is likely to see them become a quick contender in the Western States League.

“Being new to the league, I’ve only watched a few games, but our model is going to be all about hard work,” said Redhawks head coach Rob Powell. “If you’re not working hard, you won’t play. If you don’t play into the system, you won’t play. You have to do everything you can every shift, because it may be your last.

“Whether we win or lose, no one will outwork us,” Powell added.

Powell founded the San Diego Jr. Gulls minor hockey program in 1995, but has been the Director of Coaches and Player Development for the Arizona High School Hockey Association. He oversees all 38 high school programs that compete in the state.

Powell is also involved in USA Hockey at various levels in the state, including the Association Coaching Education (ACE) program.

“We’re really excited,” said Powell, about the upcoming WSHL season.

“We’ve put together a program that will really help develop kids for higher levels.

The whole thing is based on the fact that we have a program utilizing weight training, dry land and on-ice programs designed to train the players for higher levels.

“We’re on the ice practicing 7.5 hours a week, and in the gym and doing dry land every day,” he added. “We will also have a program mapped out for each individual to develop their bodies and minds.” The team is still recruiting players for the 2009-10 season. Along with Powell’s contacts in Arizona and throughout the west, Schursky will use his college hockey contacts to help advance the Redhawks’ players to the next level.

Schursky served the last three years as the manager of the Arizona State University hockey program that competes in Division 1 of the American College Hockey Association (ACHA).

With the combination of a sunny and warm climate, a commitment to training and hard work and college connections around the country, the Redhawks will certainly be an enticing destination for the elite hockey player.