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Billets play key role in Braves’ success – Recorder & Times

Tim Ruhnke – Recorder & Times

It’s more than just providing a place to stay.

Officials with the Brockville Jr. A Braves hockey organization, which includes the Jr. B Tikis and the U18 Braves, are expecting more of a “normal” season in 2021-2022 compared to the previous year that was affected significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Braves are slated to hold evaluation camp in Cardinal in mid-August. The current plan, which is subject to change, is for billets to be needed as of Aug. 20. The club is expecting the need for additional families to host out-of-town players that could spend the fall, winter and early spring in the Brockville area.

“The generosity and care you have all shown in inviting these young men into your homes has been outstanding and we are beyond appreciative of this,” director of operations Jaime McDougall said in a letter to billets.

“We could not run our programs without your families’ support not only inside your homes but also at the rinks cheering on your billet sons and supporting them within the community.”

Returning and new host families are being asked to indicate how many players they would be willing to accommodate. Other information such as if there are pets in the home or if parking spaces are available would be helpful when the club matches players to hosts.

“We can honestly say, over our many years of billeting, the bonds that we have built with many players and their families is incredible and will last a lifetime,” McDougall wrote.

Although players will be strongly encouraged to get both vaccinations before they arrive in town, that cannot be guaranteed by the club. McDougall indicated that players were “comfortable and accommodating” about being tested for COVID when returning from the extended Christmas break.

“So we do not foresee this being an issue,” she stated.

To become a junior hockey billet or for more information, email j.mcdougall86@hotmail.com.

The CCHL (Jr. A) has announced plans for a 55-game regular season that would start Sept. 23. Playoffs would open on March 24.