The Sicamous Eagles won the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and Cyclone Taylor Cup championship in their first season.
Sicamous Eagles photo
Wayne March describes his time with the Sicamous Eagles as an “awesome ride.”
After winning a Coy Cup championship in 1993-94, the Eagles’ 10th and final season in the Okanagan Senior Men’s AA Hockey League, the organization moved to the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). They won the league championship against the Castlegar Rebels, their first of three titles, in that inaugural season. The Eagles have competed for the KIJHL championship six times.
The Eagles are commemorating their 25th anniversary with a logo that symbolizes their championships. Designed by communications/director Rob Sutherland, the three KIJHL championships are represented by black stars. Their two Cyclone Taylor Cups are represented by blue stars and the Keystone Cup (Western Canada Junior B Championship) by a red star.
That logo will be on the special cancer jersey the Eagles wear during parents weekend, Jan. 11-12.
March, who started the junior organization with Doug Birks, says what he loves about running the Eagles is seeing kids advancing.
“Seeing them trying to meet their goals,” he says. “It’s just a great experience for everybody.”
March, the Eagles governor/general manager, has felt a big part of the players moving on.
“Everybody has got to remember, we’re just a stepping stone in their career once they come out of minor hockey,” he says. “Anything they can accomplish here that pushes them forward to the next level, whatever it may be, is awesome. I feel if we have done that, we have done the jobs we set out to do.”
Prince George native Jaxon Danilec is having an excellence rookie season.
The Eagles have played a part in advancing players to higher levels, including the ultimate – the NHL. Those who have played and still are include Kris Beech, Shea Weber, Cody Franson, Deryk Engelland and Andrew Ebbett.
Among the Eagles highlights of success to March is having local product Weber, 16 at the time, help the Eagles win a KIJHL championship, Cyclone Taylor Cup and Keystone Cup. He went on to win a WHL championship and Memorial Cup with the Kelowna Rockets and is a two-time Olympic gold medallist with Canada. March says that team, coached by Blair Robinson, is the best in franchise history.
March is proud that the Eagles have been able to compete with organizations such as Kelowna, Kamloops, Fernie and Kimberley.
“We have to fight, claw and dig every year to raise enough money to cover a $250,000 budget to run this team,” he says. “I think the big thing is it put Sicamous on the map.”
“Sicamous is known all over for hockey, our beautiful country here,” he says.