The Pittsburgh Warriors
Hockey could arguably be one of the toughest and most athletic sports played today. It takes physical toughness to withstand the constant hits and an insane amount of skill to move a puck down a sheet of ice on skates. This is precisely the challenge a group of veterans needed. Their love of the sport and the desire to form a team outside of the military is the spark that started Pittsburgh Warriors.
Pittsburgh Warriors are a 501C3 made up of service-disabled veterans from the Pittsburgh area. The team allows them to get together to play hockey, chirp, and hopefully bury some pucks. The Warrior hockey program starting in a few places across the country in the last few years and began in Pittsburgh around January 2017. They currently have over 50 guys on the roster, with the oldest being 62.
Pat Covert is the captain of the team. We asked him a few questions about the club.
Q: What are the challenges your organization faces?
A: "Learning to run a team properly. We all work fulltime jobs so running a team takes a lot more time than most would think. Running a team is like having a second job. With that being said, running a team like this, for fellow Veterans, is so worth it. The reward of helping someone is priceless."
Q: Where do you see your organization going in five years?
A: "In five years, I would love to see us with double our roster numbers, meaning we will be helping so many more people. Right now, we have just over 50 payers on the roster, and if we get up around 100, we'd have one of the larger programs in the USA Hockey Warrior Division."
Q: How does playing hockey help veterans?
A: "I'm sure some people only see this as a hockey team, but that's not the case. We are a group of Disabled Veteran's who happens to play hockey, or in my case, try to play hockey. We have guys who have played all of their lives, but we also have guys who have been on the ice for less than a year. As an adult, that's a scary first push. Confidence and growth is the best aspect of this team. These individuals have been through so much, and this team allows us to share and bond. The camaraderie on and off this ice is what is missed by most. Being able to talk to someone who's been there, understands one another, has so much power. We joke that we have more fun in the locker room and on the bench because of our chatter."
They are playing tonight, 9 Nov 19, at the Mario Lemieux Sports Complex, against the Pittsburgh Police hockey team (Pittsburgh Iceman). Head on over, bid on some awesome stuff, grab some food, and watch some dangles!
Who: Pittsburgh Warriors v. Pittsburgh Icemen
What: Hockey Game
When: Saturday, 9 November 2019
Where: UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex 8000 Cranberry Springs Dr. - Cranberry - PA - 16066
Why: It's going to be a great time, and that's how Saturdays should be spent!
How (did Red Clove Coffee help): We donated a few awesome baskets loaded with coffee and merch. It's a small contribution now, but we are excited to work with the Warriors again in the future!
Chirps: to make fun of or joke around with; trash talk.
Dangles: a variety of moves where a player dekes (fakes) out a goalie or player.
Bury Pucks: when someone scores goals.
Pittsburgh Warriors: an awesome organization committed to helping others.