Is This Thing Working?



All Good Things Have To Come To An End

So, tonight the DANIMALS will play our final game of the year - the Championship of the B Division against St. Catharines. It will also be my final game coaching (that was hard to type) and Evan's final game in organized youth sports. 13 years of playing/coaching hockey, ball hockey, soccer, baseball and, yes, even basketball will come to an end for the Rotella Boys. To say I'm feeling a bit sentimental is a huge understatment.
I'm really going to miss the kids (and the, watching the players develop their skills and knowledge of the game as the year would unfold, the camaraderie with the players, the dressing room pep talks, the competition, the friendships, but above all else, I will miss coaching my son. Not just the time on the diamond, in the arena, on the pitch, or on the court, but also the times we'd just go hit fly balls at Ker Park (while Dad's team was playing), batting practice at Greendale, getting up early (before school) and driving to the goalie pad in St. Kitts or jumping on the ice an hour before practice to work on his power pushes and glove hand. He was always determined and never, ever complained about the extra fact, he would ask if we could go hit ground balls or do some extra work on the ice...sometimes even on the Evan Centre pad 🙂

We had some awesome times and some great/fun teams. The undefeated White team, the Orangemen, the Big Red Machine, the early DANIMA soccer teams, the DANIMA Blue and DANIMA Gold ball teams and specifically the DANIMA ball team in the summer of 2018 when my coaches (Tim/Steve) and the players all came out onto the field with ROTELLA STRONG shirts as my Dad fought his battle with Cancer. Meant so much...still does.

I was head coach, assistant coach, goalie coach, trainer....whatever it took to be involved in Evan's sports life. I had some of the most amazing people to coach with, including Tim Nurton, Dom Gigs, Steve Truant, Robert Bauer, Adam Dunne, James Babin, Shawn Felstead, John Fraone, Peter Flynn, Maurizio Fabiano, Trevor Parker, and the late James Berg. And many others who made each season, a great season.

But 2 huge highlights for me were coaching basketball with my brother Phil (thankfully because I knew, and having my Dad coach a few games with me back in 2017! Both of them forgot more about sports than I'll ever know!
We had some great help along the way from folks like Todd Simon, Ryan Ludzik, Carmine Provenzano and Dawn Gallardi. The pros! Thank you!

The reason I coached was because I wanted to be like my Dad. Period. He was an amazing coach, his players loved him and I always wanted to be "that" guy. He set the bar extremely high and I don't think I ever got to his level, but I tried my best!
If you are reading this (still) and I coached you or one of your kids, know that I did the best I could with the knowledge I had. My goal was always to create a fun, competitive environment for the players, but also to create friendships and memories while assisting with their development and knowledge of the game.

Thank you to all the players and coaches for the amazing memories that I will cherish forever.

Thanks to DANIMA Creative Group for always sponsoring our teams!

Thanks to Evan for being the best partner in all of this. Sure we scrapped and I was tougher on you than I was on anyone, but you were a champ and the drive, leadership, and dedication that you showed over the years will serve you well in your future.

So, one last time.....