Coach Martin's Circle
As North Park prepares to celebrate our 35th Anniversary season in 2022-'23, we look back in gratitude at key events in the organization's history back to 1987. In particular, we celebrate the decision of former President Tony Carbone and the Board to hire our Director of Hockey, Martin Cejka, in 2003.
Coach Martin brought an academy-style approach to North Park, based on the pioneering methods of hockey coaches from his native home, the former republic of Czechoslovakia. With a focus on the progression of each athlete's fundamental skill development, this approach was a perfect complement to USA Hockey's ADM (American Development Model), introduced in 2009. You'll see this approach on the ice in practice with our tight player groupings and the small area games designed to maximize the development of our players.
As a result, Martin has driven the progression of North Park itself for over half our Association's history. From the days of house-level Learn to Skate, through Club League, Travel Hockey, League Championships, New York State Tournaments and beyond, Martin's multi-decade effort shaped the North Park of today. He ensured the stability of this academy-style approach by recruiting a generation of long-tenured North Park coaches. Martin now welcomes the next generation of coaches who he once coached at North Park, continuing to develop + extend these pioneering methods to today's players, including his own daughter.
To honor Coach Martin Cejka's long-standing commitment to North Park, the Board is pleased to introduce Coach Martin's Circle. Designed to complement the high standards of the Slager Cup, Coach Martin's Circle recognizes the commitment of players with at least five consecutive seasons in a North Park uniform, culminating in their final 14U Bantams year. With Coach Martin's Circle, we celebrate the long-term commitment of players who may have joined North Park "later" in their youth hockey careers, as 10U Squirts, or who perhaps moved from the New York City area after eighth grade to continue their education prior to their final 14U Bantams season.
We welcome the inaugural members of Coach Martin's Circle: