Three-Rivers — They have built up an enviable reputation over the years. When entering the Challenge AlterGo hockey cosom, Friday in Montreal, the teams entered in the tournament will have all the reasons to fear the Gothics high school Pioneers!
Defending Champions of the tournament, the youth led by the indefatigable André Pépin are now forming a family. You have to see them interact in the room reserved for the group from the adapted sector in their educational institution. The camaraderie is palpable, the team spirit is very much present.
“I feel less alone since I joined the group of hockey-adapted with Andre,” says the captain of the club AA of the Gothics, Andrew Blacksmith-Smith, the spokesperson of the group arrived at Three Rivers six years ago. A native of Lac-Saint-Jean, the Innu of 16 years will be his second Challenge AlterGo. ‘Being in a gang, every Monday lunchtime, this is the fun part of the week. Now, we want to win in Montreal!”
The banners that adorn the local Gothics evidenced by their domination in the Challenge. They are expected on a firm footing, the Trifluviens. In the metropolis, they will form two selections: a in the new class AA, the more competitive the tournament, the other in class B. More than 20 hockey players will represent their school on Friday.
“The links between them are much stronger through a sporting activity that they can create between students in a class. Here, we have a common goal, it certainly helps,” notes André Pépin, who does not get bored not to find “his youth” in the beginning of the week.
“They are all here on a voluntary basis, recalls the sympathetic retiree. We had enough players this year to build three teams: the Canadians, the Redmen and the Phoenix. We try to balance the forces in order to develop the abilities of each. It is impressive to see their progress if we compare to September.”
At the regional level, the project of Gothics was small. Consequently, schools Val Mauricie, Chavigny, the Stopover, The Discovery and the Academy the Booms are added to them to form the frameworks of a network of friendly competition in the Mauricie region. “We expect to grow further in the years to come,” said André Pépin, who recalls that the initial idea comes back to the teacher in France Carignan.
If Pippin likes to be with his gang of hockey players, it makes him well. Except when it denied goals! “It could happen, but it is necessary to follow the rules, smiled at the speaker. We have good athletes, the talent is here! But it’s no use, the individual talent, if there is no cohesion in the group. And it is, young people have understood it.”
Like last year, the Gothics expect to receive a few boos on the boards of sports Centre Claude-Robillard, where the Challenge AlterGo will take place. “It is certain that it bothers, smiled Andrew Blacksmith-Bégin. For us, it is an element of motivation. Others know that it is Three-Rivers, the team to beat in the AA.”
Whether they win or lose, the Gothics will build on the support of the entire student community as well as the direction.
“The school is very involved for the equipment, the booking of the trays and of the premises and for the liberation of the educators. It is really appreciated”, concludes André Pépin, who will continue the project as long as it can. “My pay, it is their non-verbal cues, their facial expression at the end of a practice. It is good for them and it is good for me!”
To note that a basketball team Gothics will also participate in the Challenge AlterGo.