This hockey season is standard for Allan Porter.
The Fort Belcher Dairy Farm operator is again coaching minor hockey – his 14th year behind the bench. He is the head coach of the West Colchester Cobras midget C team, and his assistant coaches are Mike Spencer, Paul Spence and Al Macmillan.
The Cobras, playing .500 percentage hockey through 20 games, were described by Porter as a positive bunch and a great group of young players to be around.
“After getting off to a rough start, we seem to have things going in the right direction. This is a great group of players to work with; they play hard, they seem to be having a lot of fun, they are real nice young hockey players to coach.”
Four teams make up the midget C hockey league – Truro, Brookfield, Cumberland County and the Cobras. Following a recent game at Colchester Legion Stadium, a Cobras loss to Truro, we talked to members of the West Colchester team.
Haley Spencer, one of three female players with the Cobras, is a unique player in that she plays defence with the Debert-based team and the Grade 12 CEC student is a centre with the Cougars girls hockey team.
“This is one of the most-fun seasons yet,” Spencer, 17, of Great Village, said. “I seem to be always playing with one team or the other, which is a lot of fun. I like being part of a team sport. I like the competitiveness of hockey, I enjoy all parts of the game. For anyone who hasn’t tried a team sport, I’d say definitely give it a try, you’ll quickly be accepted and you will enjoy it.”
Emma Hill-Macmillan plays defence with the Cobras.
“It’s really a good environment, even being a girl playing in boys hockey,” Hill-Macmillan, 15, of Central Onslow, said. “The players are all accepted by each other, you are included in everything. Hockey is really a good game, there are a lot of skills involved with hockey, you learn these both on and off the ice.”
A Grade 10 CEC student, Hill-Macmillan also plays defence for the Cougars hockey team and also plays defence in junior varsity soccer.
Natalie Porter, a left-winger, also plays for both the Cobras and the CEC Cougars.
“I started playing organized hockey in Debert when I was six,” Porter, 18, of Lower Onslow, a Grade 12 CEC student, said. “This is my first year playing on an all-girls team. One of the differences playing with the guys, there are just three girls in the dressing room. You probably get to know your teammates a little better on an all-girls team, but, it’s real fun playing with both teams, the team aspect is there, I really enjoy it.”
Noah Nisar, a defenceman, has a twin brother playing on the team, goaltender Adam Nisar.
“I always played my minor hockey in Truro but this season because of complications involving districts, Adam and I are playing with the Cobras,” said Noah, and 18-year-old from Bible Hill and Grade 12 student at CEC. “It’s fun getting to play with Adam, it’s the first time in three years we’ve played together. All our teammates are great, we get along really well together, win or lose, we’re having a lot of fun.”
Josh Heitkemper is a 15-year-old defenceman who travels from Tatamagouche to play for the Cobras.
“I got interested in hockey after watching quite a bit of hockey, I attended Truro Bearcats junior games,” Heitkemper, a Grade 9 Tatamagouche Regional Academy student said. “When I was about nine I signed up to play, up to this year I played all my minor hockey in Tatamagouche. Our Cobras team has good team spirit, I’m enjoying playing with new players, I find hockey a competitive sport, I really enjoy the game.”
Dana Spence, 17, of Debert, is a centre and a Grade 12 student at CEC.
“This has been a real fun team to play on,” said Spence. “The dressing room can be loud some days, the team spirit is real good. You make good friends through hockey, you often meet new people you never met before. There are a lot of positive things about playing hockey.
The Cobras play their home games in the West Colchester United Arena in Debert.
Lyle Carter’s sports column appears weekly in the Truro News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902 673-2857.