The Yorkton Harvest AAA Midget Hockey Club is looking for families to provide homes away from home for young hockey players this season.
Billet families will provide room and board to a 15-17 year old high school student. He must have his own bedroom and will be expected to abide by house rules. Players must attend school and have a strict curfew.
These young men are at the beginning of their hockey careers and are dedicated to achieving at a high level of success both at the rink and at school.
Billets will be reimbursed $400 monthly, says Harvest president Garth Simms. Anyone interested in being a billet home is encouraged to contact Kylie Bielka, billet co-ordinator at 783-3938.
“We are likely going to be about five short,” she said, adding that hopefully it will pick up a bit over the next couple of weeks.
There are supposed to be large crowds gathered in Yorkton tomorrow (Thursday afternoon) as Jarret Stoll brings the Stanley Cup to town following a trip to Neudorf. Simms said the Harvest will have a float in the parade and that players the team has already signed, should be there. That means there will probably be some talk about billets.
“We’ve been taking them in for about 15 years,” says Bielka. “They have become an extended family. One year, we had two players.”
With 20 players expected to dress on opening night of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League, Simms advises that the team will likely need possibly six families in the City to help out with the border situation. He said the idea of having a teenager live in someone’s house for the duration of hockey season may not be the most ideal situation, but notes that the student is usually occupied with work, school, and of course, hockey.
“They’re busy all day,” says Simms with a grin.
“They’re all in school.”
The team, along with most of the other teams in the league, won’t know an exact amount of billets until closer to the start of the season.
Most will will attempt to try out with higher levels of hockey, namely the Canadian Hockey League/Western Hockey League as well as the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
“It’ll depend on who makes the team,” he said.
At this point, Simms says there is “the potential of half of last year’s team returning”.
We could need as many as 10 billets.”
He said they have gotten the support of several local homes/families so far, however, there could be a need for more in the next couple of weeks.
“We have some but not enough. For someone’s who is interested, these are good kids.”
Simms adds that when the players are not attending school, they are usually at work or on the ice either in the game or at a practice.
“They have a dream,” suggests the team president. “They’re hear making a commitment.”