Pursuing a hockey dream

Derek Montague
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12-year-old hockey player leaving Happy Valley-Goose Bay to attend hockey school

Twelve-year-old Camille Marcoux, pictured here playing for the Lake Melville Xtreme, will be moving away from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to attend a private hockey school in Quebec.

For most kids, leaving family and friends behind and moving away before the age of 13 is unimaginable. But 12-year-old Camille Marcoux has talent, determination, and a big hockey dream. In order to foster that dream, he will have to move away from Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Camille shows no signs of fear ahead on his move to Quebec in September. The young forward has been thinking about going outside to play hockey for the past two years.

“We started thinking about this two years ago and I was prepared for all that. Most people in my family left home at (a young age) for other schools, other opportunities,” said Camille.

“I had to make a choice, if I wanted to pursue my hockey dream or if I wanted to stay home.”

Earlier this month, Camille and his parents, Guy and Anick, received word that Camille had been accepted to College de Levis, a private hockey school located in Levis, Que.

The exciting news came very quickly. In February, Camille and his father Guy — who has also been Camille’s coach during his young hockey career — joined a team from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to compete in an international peewee tournament held in Quebec City.

Levis is located across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City. So, Guy took advantage of the trip to check out Levis’s private hockey school.

“They told us he had to have good marks. When he was accepted on the academic part of it, they called him in for a tryout,” said Guy.

Since Camille, who is bilingual, has a 90 per cent average in school, getting accepted academically was not a problem. Then, during the first week of April, Camille had his hockey tryout.

Roughly two weeks later, on April 16, the young hockey player was told that, come September, he would be playing for the school’s AAA bantam team, The Commandeurs.

For Camille’s family, there is a wave of mixed emotions. Camille, who is the youngest of three siblings, won’t even be celebrating his 13th birthday at home in September.

“It’s not easy. We’re excited and we’re sad, and we’re teary-eyed at the same time,” said Camille’s mother, Anick. “He’s our youngest, but as long as he’s happy and he wants to pursue his dream, we have no choice but to let him go.”

“It’ll be tough for me,” adds Guy. “But, with all kinds of communication we have, it should be OK.”

Camille understands that there will be a lot more work ahead of him once he joins College de Levis. He will have to balance a busy practice schedule, along with keeping good grades. But Camille isn’t fazed by the challenge.

“We will practice almost every single day and then I’ll be playing more games then here (in Goose Bay),” explained Camille.

“When you have a passion, you have to go through little things like that. It’s not really a sacrifice, it’s more like a choice.”

Camille, who usually plays centre, views himself as a complete two-way player. For that, he gives his father a lot of credit.

“I can practically do it all. My dad always told me to be a good hockey player you need speed and the ability to control the puck.”

Camille is one of many young, talented, hockey players from Labrador who has had to move far away from home to pursue a hockey dream. Guy believes there’s not enough competition in Happy Valley-Goose Bay or ice time at the over-booked arena to develop Camille’s talent.

“The lack of competition, that’s the problem around here; not enough people,” said Guy.

“Right now, if you want a little bit more ice time you have to fight to try and get it.”

During the 2013-14 minor hockey season Camille was bumped from peewee to bantam in order to provide a bigger challenge.

His 14-year-old brother Abraham also plays bantam in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The older sibling admits that Camille has some serious skill.

“I’m jealous. I’m supposed to be better but, apparently, he’s better,” admitted Abraham.

Like his parents, Abraham said he’s going to miss Camille when he leaves. But there’s also a big upside for the older brother.

“It’s good. I get the room to myself when he’s gone.”

derek.montague@thelabradorian.ca

Organizations: College de Levis

Geographic location: Goose Bay, Happy Valley, Quebec City Levis, Que St. Lawrence River Labrador

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