Everyone Has a Job to Do

By Lee Samuels

Years ago our son Eddie played for the AAA Vail, Colorado, Avalanche 15u ice hockey team. We were on a winter road trip in Canada playing in a holiday tournament.

The head coach was the great Jamie O’Leary.

We always wanted to go a pre-game chalkboard meeting to see the X’s and the O’s on a blackboard to outline how to attack the net, how to defend, all of the good stuff.

It was a players only meeting but we really want to see it.

So we found a route to the upstairs hotel meeting room, cracked opened a door and looked towards the coach and our players.

The meeting came to a quick halt.

Coach Jamie O’Leary looked towards me and said “everyone on this team has a job. I coach, the players have a game plan. Our goal scorers have a way to score, our defensemen defend, our goalies are the best around.

“What’s your job here.”

“Loading the hockey bags into the back of our team pickup trucks,” we said.

While our son glared at me Jamie said “well, go do your job.”

We went downstairs and walked outside.

It was icy cold with a north wind blowing.

Hockey dad Bill Nobles, whose son Taner played on the team, asked “how did it go up there at the big team meeting.?

“Not to well,” we said as we watched two snowbirds flying by.

We both laughed.

He got into the truck bed.

“Ready,” he said.

We lifted and handed him the first heavy hockey bag.

Just at that very moment it began to snow.


After that season we never saw or spoke to hockey dad Bill Nobles again. We spotted his son Tanar skating at Roy Henderson’s Global Showcase in Las Vegas a few years later but didn’t get to chat with Tanar or his family.

Hockey coach Jamie O’Leary is still at it. This season he is the head coach of the AAA Rocky Mountain Roughriders bantam ice hockey team. He is a great coach and a man. He’s been coaching in that program for years.