Columbus Cardinals Win the Gold Medal 10U Competitive Division at 2003 InLine Hockey Junior Olympic Championship Games

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Columbus Cardinals, a 10 and under inline hockey team won the Gold Medal in the 10U Competitive Division on Sunday, August 3 at the 2003 Inline hockey AAU Junior Olympic games held in Detroit, Michigan. The 10U team is comprised of 1992 birth year players: Joe Parizek # 6 (Dublin, OH), Dustin Matthews #14 (Grove City, OH), Scott Owen # 16 (Troy, OH), Joe Nahay # 26 (Dublin, OH), Jason Scott # 45 (Columbus, OH), Jake Howell # 91 (Dublin, OH) and Josh Howell # 39 (Dublin, OH) and 1993 birth year players Robbie Baillargeon # 9 (Dublin, OH), Kevin Putnam # 10 (Dublin, OH), and St. John Leck # 12 (Bexley, OH).

Cardinals competed against 11 teams from Michigan, Kentucky, California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey to take home the Gold, including first seed, Team Nexed Detroit, a Michigan AAU Hockey and USA Roller Sports (USARS) nationally ranked team. The Cardinals beat Team Nexed Detroit 6 goals to 1 in the championship game.

The AAU Junior Olympic Games are known as the largest national multi-sport event for the youth of America today. It has become the showcase event of the AAU Sports Program. The AAU Junior Olympic Games prides itself with the nation's most outstanding athletes year in and year out. Inline hockey first became a medal event at the Junior Olympics 5 years ago. Since then, it has become one of the fastest growing sports in the AAU and one of the most celebrated.

Columbus Cardinals 10 and under team plays inline hockey April through August and concentrates on ice hockey September through March. The majority of the players play ice hockey for Cardinal Youth Hockey (CYH) a local non-profit organization that was founded in 2001 by Cardinals’ Head Coach Bob Baillargeon. Cardinal Youth Hockey, based out of the CoreComm Ice Haus was established by Baillargeon to give Columbus area kids an opportunity to play elite travel ice and inline hockey throughout the Midwest. Baillargeon said, “The team overcame many obstacles such as no practice facility, absence of team practices and sponsorship to win the Gold.” The team played in four AAU qualifying regional tournaments (Dayton, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Cleveland) placing 2nd in each one qualifying them to compete at the Junior Olympic Games.

Baillargeon added “many of the teams we’ve played against practice several times a week all year round and recruit kids from all over to play on their teams”. Baillargeon said that “a few of the Cardinal team players practiced occasionally with the Columbus Bandits 12 and under inline team at Central Ohio Roller Hockey (CORH) until the facility closed in June 2003 to be converted into an ice rink”.

The 10 and under Cardinals also won the 2003 Black Biscuit Tournament held in July at The Hockeydome, Cincinnati, Ohio. The team placed first in the Steel Belt Division in the AAU 2003 Olympic Rings Inline Hockey Cup Championships and third nationally out of 88 inline hockey teams in point standings. To find out more information about the Amateur Athletic Union go to http://www.aauhockey.org. CYH expects to field additional inline hockey teams in 2004 and is seeking sponsorship. For more information about Columbus Cardinals 10U inline hockey team please go to http://www.eteamz.com/cardinalhockey/.

For further information contact:

Bob Baillargeon, Director of Hockey

Cardinal Youth Hockey

(614) 932-0398

Bob_baillargeon@airnet.com

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Tina Howell