Falcons and Storm in New Years Eve showdown

For the second straight year, students from Chilliwack and Sardis high schools will clash in a post-Christmas hockey game.

Josh Matzek (left)

A hockey rivalry is renewed New Years Eve as Chilliwack secondary school takes on Sardis at Twin Rinks.

Organized by Josh Matzek, Jason Sandhu, Marissa Ryckman and  Brock Padgham, this year’s game looks to piggy-back on the success of last year’s.

Three students took on this project in 2012, resurrecting a rivalry that was, once upon a time, one of the fiercest in local high school sports.

Last year’s game saw CSS rout Sardis 4-1.  Josh Matzek played on the winning side.

“It wasn’t really rough rough, but it got a little gritty,” said Matzek, a goalie by trade. “It was intense to play in, and both sides felt a strong urge to win.”

Ryckman watched from the stands, enjoying the electric atmosphere.

“One side of the stands was Sardis and the other was CSS, and everyone dressed up in their school’s colours,”  said Ryckman. “It was fun, but Sardis was more cheerful than Chilliwack. They were just louder, but we’re hoping that changes this year.”

Fueled by pride in their shiny new school, Ryckman thinks the CSS cheering section will bring the noise this year.

“There’s always been a big rivalry between the two schools and it’s always a lot of fun,” she said. “And the new school has really added to the spirit.”

Puck drop is 4 p.m. and ticket pre-sales have been going well. There were no pre-sales last year, but Twin Rinks was still packed to the rafters.

One difference this year will be the ability to take debit at the door. Matzek’s dad owns Ricky’s Restaurant and he’s been granted access to a mobile debit machine.

Tickets are $7 apiece.

The four CSS students are doing this as part of Matthew Ferris’s entrepreneurship class. Other groups are doing different things — including hanging Christmas lights and selling Christmas baskets.

Thanks to this project, the hockey organizers have learned how much goes into organizing even a small-scale event.

“We’ve had to book the ice, get uniforms, get insurance for the players and arrange for security,” Sandhu said. “The security is mostly our parents, just getting them at the doors to make sure no one’s sneaking in.”

“Waiver forms have to be signed and referees have to be booked,” Matzek added. “We’ve got to come up with teams for both sides, and then we’ve got to get word out to get as big of a crowd as possible.”

In any good rivalry, the chirping will be key. With bragging rights from last year’s game, and a strong roster for this year’s, Matzek feels the trash-talk will take care of itself.

“We’ll get up a couple goals and let the scoreboard do the talking,” he said.

“The Storm always takes out the birds, right?” Sandhu added with a grin.

A win would be wonderful, but there’s another reward waiting if these guys do things right.

They get to keep any profits from the event. Last year’s raked in roughly $2,500. After costs, the two organizers split $2,000 between them.

A similar return would let the CSS four plan a nice little grad trip next spring. They’re unanimously in favour of Mexico.

“Whatever happens it’s been a great learning experience and hopefully we can have a great grad trip with all of our friends,” Padgham said. “Puerto Vallarata maybe. Cancun? Not sure where.”

The biggest benefit of all goes well beyond dollars and cents, with the carrying on of a burgeoning tradition.

“If we didn’t do this it probably wouldn’t have gotten done and the tradition wouldn’t carry on,” Matzek explained.  “We’ve got some younger guys on our team this year, and we’re hoping they’ll carry it on next year. We want to make it fun enough where they want to do it again.”

Posters have been hung up all over town wherever teenagers congregate.

Info is also available online.

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