Hockey, its a difficult sport. But luckily for some athletes in Tucson, theres one organization here that dedicates time to teaching kids as young as four how to skate, shoot, pass, and a whole lot more.

Its awesome,” Tucson Roadrunner, Hunter Drew said. “I think you get to watch all these kids come out and grow the game in this area.

Since 2011, the Jr. Roadrunners have been carving up the ice.

They officially got their name when their idols came to town in 2016.

For these kids when they come out and watch the Roadrunners, this is like Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby coming to practice, these are their favorite players,” Jr. Roadrunners Coaching Director, Ryan DeJoe said. “They are their hockey heroes.

Ryan DeJoe played hockey his whole life. After moving to Tucson he knew he wanted to grow the sport here.

Its not an easy thing to be good at. Youre going to fall, youre going to get hurt, youre going to get bumped and so you get some resiliency right from the beginning,” DeJoe said. “I think its just better in hockey and it forms a more tight nit unit than any other sport.

And these young athletes arent just learning from DeJoe and his staff, but the roadrunners themselves.

I remember being that age so its kind of fun to look back on it and see the smiles on their faces that I had,” Drew said.

The Roadrunners come out every Tuesday for the 10u, 12u and high school practices.

Showing the juniors what it takes to be a roadrunner.

They hear from us a lot and we teach them the best we can but when they hear it from the pros it definitely sinks in better,” DeJoe said.

In the past few years, Dejoe has only seen the program grow further and both he and the Roadrunners hope they can eventually make Tucson a hotbed for hockey.



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