The Osoyoos Coyotes are seeking billet homes for their upcoming season. (Jen Jensen Photography)
By Dale Boyd
While there is an old trope about getting teenagers out of the house, the Osoyoos Coyotes are hoping Osoyoos residents are ready to invite their players into their homes for the upcoming season.
The billet experience has been nothing but positive for Don and Judy Chase, who took on their first hockey billets last season and are inviting another Coyote into their home this year.
“We had two kids last year, but it was more like five or six because they liked to come over for dinner,” Don said.
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Don, a former Junior hockey player in Kamloops and former hockey coach extends his love of the game into opening up his home.
“I thought it would be a good idea to give back to the community and I always want to watch hockey, so I’m appreciative there is a team here,” Don said.
While the idea of hosting a teenager during a hockey season may ward some people off, the teenage stereotypes do not hold true according to Don.
“Some people think that these kids are young and wild, but I gotta say the kids that we had, you could barely tell they were around. They were quiet, they were there to play hockey and lots of times they would be pretty much just there to eat and then be gone,” Don said.
“We really enjoyed getting to know the boys, they became like sons of ours,” Judy said.
Looking for billet families! Join our valued team of past & present families who have opened their homes & hearts, building lifelong friendships with players and their families, while helping lessen the cost of JR hockey for players. Call Randy at (250) 485-2412 @EZRockOsoyoos pic.twitter.com/euTER5GgPd
— Osoyoos Coyotes (@KIJHLCoyotes) July 27, 2019
Diana Anderson has hosted billets for the last two years, and she is heading into her third consecutive year hosting a billet player.
“My children are grown and out of the house and in Calgary. I just find it rewarding having the young boys around helping them in the community, making them feel at home. To me it’s hard for a teenager to leave their family and the comfort of home so it just makes me feel good if they feel good.”
She loves attending to Coyotes games and is a big fan of the sport. Hockey is often playing on Anderson’s TV.
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“It’s nice getting out there and feeling the community spirit and watching these guys grow and play. That’s basically why I do it,” Anderson said.
The players, and their families, have become an extended family of sorts to Anderson, meeting the teens’ parents and creating connections.
“I’ve met both of their families. We’ve become fast friends with both of their families,” Anderson said. “We’ve made new friends, hopefully lifelong friends.”
There is compensation from the Coyotes organization for those who agree to host a billet, and those interested can offer to help lessen the cost for Jr. hockey for a player by calling Randy at 250-485-2412.