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ÉNDHS partners with Jr. A Pontiacs, second agreement in as many days

The Bonnyville Pontiacs sign a partnership with Lakeland Catholic School District to offer a hockey program this school year. Left to right: ÉNDHS principal Vince Spila, Pontiacs coach/GM Rick Swan, LCSD deputy superintendent Pam Guilbault, Pontiacs president Ron Rusnak, LCSD communication officer Amanda Wildman, and Pontiacs director of business operations Robb Hunter. 

There will be more high-school students hitting the ice with trained coaches in a hockey program.

Lakeland Catholic School District is announcing another partnership, this time with École Notre Dame High School and the Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs.

Two days ago, they reached a similar partnership between Assumption Junior High/High School and the Cold Lake Jr. B Ice where students will get on-ice instruction while also developing athletic leadership.

It aims to keep high-school students in their home community while preparing for potential athletic scholarships.

ÉNDHS principal Vince Spila said it’s a natural partnership because of their relationship with the Pontiacs already.

“We’re excited to have a formalized partnership where we can give back to the community, to where our kids can be part of the Bonnyville Pontiac experience and have the academics and on-ice training and working with T.J. Millar and Rick. They’ll get a chance to build on the skills the kids have already and the interest they have,” said Spila.

The program will be offered to both male and female athletes at ÉNDHS in Bonnyville in 2019-2020.

There is space in the program for thirty students and registration will be done on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Pontiacs assistant coach T.J. Millar will be the head instructor and supported by current Pontiacs, said head coach Rick Swan.

“It allows us to not only be involved in the community in a huge way, but it also allows us to mimic their vision and that’s to provide a positive growth experience for the students that are going to be involved in this program.

“It’s important to know that it’s more than just hockey, which is the philosophy of our organization as well….to develop the program that’s second to none in the area,” said Swan.

Deputy superintendent Pam Guilbault said Lakeland Catholic tries to use the expertise already within the community.

“When we can build relationships with community partners while diversifying programs for students, we ensure that our students receive relevant, innovative authentic learning experiences. This continues to be an important priority for our Board,” said Guilbault.