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Minor hockey coach nabs honour

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Hard work and dedication has paid off handsomely for a district minor hockey coach.

Jamie Booth—who was head coach of both the Emo Express PeeWee 'AA' Affiliate and Emo Express PeeWee Green and assistant coach for the Emo Express Novice Green

teams this year for the Emo-Devlin-Barwick Minor Hockey Association—recently found out that he had been named the Hockey Northwestern Ontario's Coach of the Year.

Booth said that he was thrilled with winning the accolade—even though it caught him off guard.

“It's a huge honour to receive this award. There are a lot of really good coaches just within this area,” he noted.

“I had no idea that I was even nominated, so when HNO informed me that I had been chosen for coach of the year, I was shocked,” he remarked.

"It was certainly unexpected but greatly appreciated.

“Sharing this honour with me is the rest of the coaching staff—Andy McCormick, Dane Dalseg, Scott Mosbeck, and Todd Grennier,” he added.

Booth has been a valued member of the EDBMHA volunteer coaching staff for the past nine years.

He has done goaltending coaching and has coached both of his son's teams at the IP, Novice, Atom, and PeeWee levels throughout the years.

The 2018-19 season was an exemplary coaching year for Booth as he gave his time and knowledge to three separate hockey teams and also organized and coached a series of goalie training sessions throughout the season.

This past season, Booth coached Novice and PeeWee house league teams, the Peewee AA special affiliate team, and lent his goaltending expertise to all ages of players in Emo hockey.

Coaching three teams simultaneously takes a great deal of dedication, commitment, organization and patience, all of which Booth has in spades.

His unwavering devotion to the kids, parents, the association (he also volunteers as vice president of the board) and hockey in general was evident through his outstanding performance in each of his coaching roles this season.

He also led the Emo Express Peewee Green to a 24-3-3 record overall, as well as to titles at the Fort Frances Tournament, Emo Tournamentand to the 'B'-side crown at the Dryden Tournament.

“Coaching in a smaller association such as Emo has a lot of benefits,” Booth noted.

“We've had the privilege of coaching the same core group of kids for the past eight years. I know its a cliche to say a team is like a family but it truly is. "While having a lot of success on the ice over the past few years, especially this year, is very enjoyable, it's the times you spend off the ice with the team and their parents that make for lasting memories,” he enthused.

As far as coaching philosophies go, Booth said that he is big on having fun and working hard.

“I believe those are the only philosophies you need,” he reasoned.

"The sooner the player realizes that they can have fun while also giving maximum effort, the more success the team will have.

“As a coach, all you want is to create a positive and fun environment for the growth and development of these young athletes and if you have some success along the way, well, that's just a bonus,” he enthused.

When the kids he coaches were asked to provide some feedback on Booth, they all mentioned his sense of humour and the fact that he never misses practises.

Booth has built lasting relationships with each child by using humour but he's also a serious coach when required.

That being said, he also but has a talent to lighten the mood and make kids smile—even under the most strenuous of circumstances.

He is also the most dedicated member of every team he coaches, regardless of the weather or conflicting activities for the majority of the kids, he will always be at practice.

Booth will not cancel practises and he will be there even if he knows it will only be a few kids who come.

Everyone can always count on Booth and all of the kids that he has coached are extremely thankful to have had him as part of their young hockey careers.

As such, Booth is a great choice to receive the HNO's Coach of the Year award.

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