Soldier brings roller hockey to Fort Rucker
Johnathan Mills, civilian, and Josh Kolanusz, civilian, square-off for the puck while playing roller hockey at Bldg. 6029 on Fort Rucker Jan. 14.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Hockey enthusiasts from as far as Panama City came to Fort Rucker Jan. 14 in an effort to start an active, weekly gathering to play roller hockey.

Sgt. 1st Class Tim Waychoff, C Company, 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment, wanted to start the weekly games as a result of the lack of opportunity to play roller hockey.

"This is my third time stationed here at Fort Rucker and each of the previous times I've been here there was a functioning league in Dothan," said Waychoff.

The league in Dothan had been shut down in Waychoff's absence, which prompted the need to start one of his own, he said.

"When I came back, some of the people here that I used to play with contacted me and let me know that they were driving to Panama City every week in order to play," said the NCO. "They asked me if there was any place on Fort Rucker that we could possibly play and I knew of none, so I decided that we should find a place.

"It was really just a matter of finding a building or area that we could play and getting permission to use that facility," said Waychoff. "We saw that [Bldg. 6029] seemed like it wasn't in use and the floors seemed good enough to play on, so we found out who owned it and got the permission to meet and play here."

"The turnout today has been pretty great," said Scott Duncan, civilian contractor and goalie. "We are hoping to get some more recognition and double our numbers.

"We also want to try and get a lot of youth involved to come play and maybe meet a couple more days a week -- one day for adults only, and another for everyone," he said.

Anyone is welcome to play the pick-up roller hockey games, according to Waychoff.

"If they can get on Fort Rucker, they are more than welcome to come play with us," he said. "We've got guys coming up from Panama City, some Navy folks, contractors and some local friends that we play with. It's really for anybody that wants to come play.

"Ultimately we want [the participation] to get much bigger and get some team games going," said Waychoff, "but for now we're just happy to get out here and have some place to play again."

The players are meeting every Saturday at 9 a.m. at Bldg. 6029 next to the Lemon Lot. Those that wish to participate are encouraged to bring extra hockey gear and equipment to get more involvement from those that might not have the gear to play.

"We've got the goals and scoreboard," said Waychoff, "but we could always use more equipment, and all of the players must wear helmets in order to play."

"The camaraderie on a hockey team is unlike anything else I've experienced," said Duncan. "It's a really tight-knit family."

For more information, call (630) 870-9264.

Page last updated Thu January 19th, 2012 at 00:00