MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) – The RGV Killer Bees are a team of the past after not returning to the ice to complete the 2019 season.
Now, hockey players and fans in the Rio Grande Valley are left to find a new way to keep the sport that they love alive in South Texas.
“When we as a hockey community lost the ice, we were challenged to find an outlet. Thankfully the city of McAllen has this beautiful facility that we’re able to utilize, we saw an opportunity to maximize what this facility actually is,” said Jason Stros, President of 1’s Up Hockey.
“Everywhere in the country that has hockey-related communities are drawn together to make a difference in the youth,” said Stros.
Stros has played hockey for his entire life, and his son Jaylon has been in skates since he could walk.
“It’s all I knew since I was 2,” said Jaylon Stros. “My dad played it all my life, he played in Aspen for a little bit. He kind of introduced that to me when I started walking and I kind of just picked it up from there and just went on.”
Hockey isn’t exactly a popular sport for K-12 in the RGV. Stros has partnered with the Dallas Stars to host “learn to play” on Tuesday nights at the De Leon Hockey Rink.
“Tuesday nights is something that the South Texas Inline Hockey Association (STIHA) put together in a formation to just say ‘we love your support but why don’t you come join us?’ We as a family ask you to come join us and be a part of that community of effort, of camaraderie and make it all come together not only for the youth but for the community as a whole.”
This summer, 1’s Up Hockey will host a free four-week summer camp for any student-athlete wanting to try the sport.
“I hope it becomes a little league where I can play with some of my friends and get more friends to come out and join us,” said Jaylon.
Beginning in the Fall, 1’s Up Hockey will have a league called the Jr. Rockets.
“This particular league allows the children of the RGV to be a little bit more receptive to it, based on what it costs to play,” said Stros. “It’s much cheaper than ice so we can really do a lot of things with this type of facility and this type of organization.”
Any student who would like to try hockey can contact Jason Stros directly at (956) 204-9665.