Players get their endurance tested during the Beep test at the Oceanside Generals three-day camp that was held Aug. 11-13. — Michael Briones photo

Generals begin shaping up team

Players go through fitness training during 3-day camp

The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals welcomed back returning players, new recruits and potential candidates for this coming season’s roster at their three-day camp that opened Friday and ended up on Sunday.

Approximately 40 players attended and they were subjected to rigourous fitness exercises that included the challenging Beep Test, 40-metre dash, long jump and other events. Some players were gasping hard for air, their faces grimacing in agony and pain as they went through the different routines.

Club president Gerry Bickerton commented that most of the players that came were in good shape.

“Working out during the off-season is something we strongly stressed on our veteran players,” said Bickerton. “We expected them to be in shape.”

Among the veteran players that stayed active and came out prepared for the coming season are forwards Koby Adams-Loitz and Max Creighton.

“You can’t show up at the camp out of shape,” said Creighton, who is from Nanaimo.

“It’s not going to help if you’re just going to start working out when the season begins. You have to do it before. I go to the gym with a bunch of my friends. We had two trainers work with us four days a week at 6 a.m. in the morning.”

Creighton said they did pool work, spring mechanics, as well as upper-body and lower-body workouts.

Adams-Loitz, who is from Alberta, indicated that he played a lot of baseball during the off-season and also did dry-land training.

“I have been an athlete my whole life and I love sports,” said Adams-Loitz. “I just keep busy during the off-season, playing and training. It helps me get ready for the coming season.”

Both players can’t wait for the season to start.

Creighton said he wants to help the Generals make it to the playoffs.

“[The season] being a month away, it’s really exciting,” said Creighton, who is a centreman for the Generals. “We have a new coach, and to see some new faces come out, I am really excited to get the season going.

“I want to play in a bunch of playoff games. I want to go on a bit of a run here. It’s been tough in the last couple of years because of the wild-card game. This year there isn’t one so we are going to have to work our way through the regular season and get ourselves in the playoffs, not through the back door but through the front door.”

This coming season, Jesse Hammill will lead the Generals behind the bench as head coach and general manager. He will be assisted by Scott Bickerton and Chris Lennox.

The Generals will kick off their Vancouver Island Junior B Hockey League season against the reigning league champions Campbell River Storm on Sept. 1 at Rod Brind’Amour Arena at 7:30 p.m.

Prior to playing their first home game, on Sept. 16 against the Comox Valley Glacier Kings at 7:30 p.m., the Generals will play four consecutive games on the road.

The start times for home games onWednesday, Friday and Saturday will be 7 p.m., while Sunday games will have a 2:30 p.m. puck drop.

All regular season games can be watched on HockeyTV.

The Generals are currently seeking billet homes for the 2017-18 season. They offer excellent renumeration and can guarantee some great hockey and other “Gens family” perks.

Those with questions are welcome to email to discuss how this program can be a great experience for any household.

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