Individual commitment to a group effort that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization workVince Lombardi
Everything started during the 2018 when I met these 2 guys: @marcoviale and @mattiabattizzoco. Next to the top of the mountain we chatted and then went down with two other friends. More than of 2.000 mt of downhill. A great day with mountain bike, beautiful sceneries and smart guys. But these are just memories and, in particular, this is another story. A story that leads to another story. A long story. A long ride throughout the ice hockey season.
Yes, I’m writing about the HC Old Academy Spartans. An ice hockey team from Bolzano, South Tyrol. You may wonder why I tell about Mattia and Marco. Well, they are members of this team. A bunch of guys of different ages, mix of skills and with an unique passion for this sport.
The season 2018/19 was the first time where they played all together. They took part in the SAHL: the South Amatorial Hockey League. It was a difficult season, there were ups and downs. The beginning was perfect: they beat 4-3 the HC Floschn, one of the strongest teams of the League. The goalkeeper played an amazing match, excellent saves; but also the remaining players were on the match all time. It was an intense game.
Unfortunately, it was just an illusion; in fact the Spartans were defeated in the other two games by Burgstall (2-3) and Hello Freund (1-3). Maybe they deserved something more but sometimes things don’t work out the way you want.
The 4th and last match of the first round tournament was the re-launch day where they won 7-1 vs Gregorian. Like the last match the beginning of the second round tournament was good, an another victory came (7-3). In the 6th game they did only 1 point because they lost 3-4 at the shootout. Trying to reach the big Final the Spartans won 7-4 vs Hello Frauend. So they arrived at the last game with 50-50: win and go to the Final for the 1st/2nd place or loose and play the little Final.
The last game was a really important moment. It was one of the moments where you can understand what your level is. In the rink of Lana the weather wasn’t good. Under the rain and snow the match was very difficult. The legs really heavy. And the result in the end wasn’t good. Burgstall won 4-3 in the shootout. You have to consider this as an experience for the future, don’t worry guys.
So on the 2nd of March the Spartans team was on the rink for the little Final. In front of them the Burgstall for a re-match. The game was strong. It was a really good game; I think one of the most beautiful I’ve seen during the season. Spartans and Burgstall played to every puck, with muscle and brain. The game was spectacular. And I’m happy to say that the Spartans won 6-4.
I think that if you work for someone you have to be professional. But in that case my feeling was different. I screamed and celebrated it. I enjoyed every single moment of this experience and I had the opportunity to meet not only hockey players but also friends. They didn’t win the League but they did reach great satisfaction.
Moreover I think they are the soul of this League. They faced the whole season with an awesome spirit: fighting in the rink and drinking beer in every other place. Don’t lose this spirit guys. You have to be the same of this season with the legendary “pagellone”, swear-words, “helicopters”, Perez’s music and other stuff all together. You keep at it, you will get something great. See you!
Behind camera & words: me
Team: HC Old Spartans Bolzano