Gulf Coast Aces (GCA) Youth Hockey league was founded in 2017 by Paul Aston, Daniel “DJ” Kutch, and Jason MacDonald.
GCA is a Mississippi non-profit organization that is dedicated to the promotion and formation of ice hockey teams for youth, age 16 and younger of all levels and skills. The organization seeks to educate, train and cultivate new players, spectators and fans in the sport of ice hockey, with an emphasis on building skills, sportsmanship, self-esteem, camaraderie, friendships, diversity and respect both on and off the ice.
Current board consists of Kory DuMond – President Dyland Forsythe – Director Matt Felder – Operations and Tessa Dvorak – Marketing and DJ Kutch – Treasurer. We all come from various “hockey” backgrounds up North and in Canada, and have been involved in the game for the majority of our lives as players, coaches, directors, and administrators.
GCA is able to provide the sport to citizens of the coastal regions through SAHA (Southern Amatuer Hockey Association – www.sahaonline.org & USA Hockey grants and donations – as well as the support of local businesses in the form of donations and sponsorships, Specifically Keesler Federal Credit Union and Jerrnigan Chiropractic but GCA is looking to increase visibility and partner with the community to help grow the sport in this region.
The season will run from November – Mid January with practices and home games taking place and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum and we play games on weekends at our home rink or on the road against teams from Pensacola, Lafayette, and have traveled to tournaments away at locations such as Houston TX, Atlanta GA, Birmingham AL and Tampa Bay FL.
GCA accepts all kids (boys and girls) of all skill levels from as young as 4 with a learn to skate program up to age 16 with the more experienced teams. Any interest to play or think in joining, GCA will fully support.
2020 season officially kicked off on October 31st with a Pre Season party and Registration drive at Big Play Entertainment center at 1842 Beach Blvd in Biloxi while the following week the Aces hit the ice for practice on Saturday mornings and Tuesday nights with games to follow on the weekends as GCA continues to work within the restrictions due to the ongoing COVID pandemic to provide a safe environment for players and parents.
“Living on the Gulf Coast now for 2 years I have come to understand how passionate about their sports Mississippians are,” said GCA President Kory DuMond. “Football Baseball and Soccer are all activities kids can participate in to get their first taste of athletic competition and what it’s like to be a member of a team and a group working towards 1 goal. Hockey has been a part of the Mississippi sports culture since the mid 1990’s and has even seen a couple of championship won on our shores.”
The Gulf Coast Aces are continuing that rich hockey tradition by providing kids an introduction to a sport that is unlike any other on the Coast. A lot of the skills learned and developed on the hockey rink will serve as a foundation which guide players the rest of their lives.
Hard work, accountability, selflessness, mental toughness, sportsmanship, and camaraderie are just some of the intangibles stressed and teach on top of the skills required to play the game of hockey.
GCA has USA Hockey certified coaches at all age levels ready to pass on that passion and love for the game onto the next generation of players.
“I want to encourage everyone to give this great sport a try, some of my own greatest experiences and memories in life have came because of my involvement in ice hockey,” stated DuMond. “I have been fortunate enough to travel the country, make life long friends, spend quality time with my family, and learn the fundamentals of what it takes to be a good example both as a person, teammate and now a leader of an organization because that’s what hockey demands of all of us. I want to pass on those lessons and experiences to our kids and hopefully they will fall in love with this great game as all of us involved with the organization have.”
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