OHA Niagara District Junior C Hockey Club




Thursday, October 01st, 2009

As captain Maher wants to make Gades a group

Cole Maher learned some valuable advice when he was playing for a 'AAA' team in Cambridge as a 12-year-old.

"It doesn't matter if you screw up," his coach told him, "as long as you give 100% you'll keep improving."

Nine years later, Maher is trying to instill that same philosophy in his teammates. Only now he is doing so as captain of the Woodstock Renegades.

"I feel like I've improved every year because every practice I go out and try," he said.

The 21-year-old was named captain of the Junior C club earlier this month, taking over from Brandon Schell.

"It's my first time captaining in seven years," he said. "I've learned from previous captains what to do and what not to do."

What Maher wants to see is team unity. His goal is to eliminate the cliques that exist and make each player feel as though they belong.

It's especially tough on rookies, who can feel intimidated playing with teammates who are sometimes several years older.

Maher was only 15 when he suited up for the Junior B St. Marys Lincolns and came to Woodstock the following season.

"Instead of having circles I want rookies to ask veterans to come out, and veterans to ask rookies to come out," he said. "I'm being a lot more open. I don't care if I screw up, as long as we're talking as a team."

As captain, Maher will be looked upon to provide leadership. That doesn't mean, however, that he's the only one.

"Just because you don't have a letter doesn't mean you can't be a leader," he said. "We have some rookies on our top lines and I want them to lead by example. They are going to take over the vets spots."

And maybe some valuable advice.

(Source Sentinel-Review)