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Hurricanes storm hardball hockey nationals

Bremerton’s gold-medal winning Freshman Division team was one of two championship squads, five placing teams and six teams to make the trip to Fort Smith, Ark., overall. - Courtesy photo
Bremerton’s gold-medal winning Freshman Division team was one of two championship squads, five placing teams and six teams to make the trip to Fort Smith, Ark., overall.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Bremerton Roller Hockey Club ruled again at this year’s Hardball Roller Hockey National Championships earlier this month in Fort Smith, Ark. The Hurricanes took six teams to nationals, five placed and two won, making Bremerton the most successful club in the country.

Bremerton won in the Freshman Division, a co-ed 12-14 year-old team, and reclaimed the championship in the Senior Ladies Division (14 and up). The club had won the senior ladies title for 13 straight years before settling for second and third last year. In addition to winning the titles, six Bremerton players were singled out for honors.

Ceilioh Sligh, Ashley Lee, Autumn Lee and Sarah Gross received awards for being named 2006 Hardball Roller Hockey Skaters of the Year, and two players made the National Junior Team that will compete in Santiago, Chile in October. Anthony Sparkuhl was picked as one of the goalies for the team, and Jamie Vio was chosen as one of the eight floor players.

Sparkuhl and Vio were members of the bronze medal winning Junior Men’s team (15-17 years-old), which also included Larry Hanson, Mike Trussell, Matt Sparkuhl, Logan Reil, Riley Dreaney, JR Closser and Alex Perez.

Reil, Dreaney, Perez, Closser and Matt Sparkuhl were also on the gold medal Freshman Division team along with Kennedy Lee, Ryan Nelson and Jacob Yaden.

The championship Senior Ladies team included Sligh, Autumn Lee, Gwen Catledge, Kylee McWilliams, Christina Fritz, Lisa Joosten and Danielle Walter. Bremerton also took third place in the Senior Ladies, with Kristie Trussell, Sarah Malloy, Alison Brailey, Kennedy Lee, Kylie Hughes, Ocean Partridge and Jennifer Curry.

Catledge, Sligh, Autumn Lee, McWilliams, Joosten, Hughes, Walter and Fritz also took second place in the Silver Division (16 and up), where women weren’t allowed to compete until 2005. The Silver Division is a second level men’s classification, and it wasn’t considered safe for women.

The Bremerton team has proven that not only are they safe against the men, they’re winners. Bremerton has won the Senior Bronze Division three times.

Rounding out the teams placing at nationals was the Men’s World Class team (16 and up) which took fourth. That team included Frankie Lee, Alex Forbes, Bill Dawson, Jamie Vio, Larry Hanson and Anthony Sparkuhl.

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