Keller resident wins gold in inline hockey world competition

Posted Monday, Jul. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Just a few months ago, Saxon Greene barely knew how to stop at full speed on roller blades.

However, with a few practices, Greene was able to don a Team USA jersey and represent the Gulf Coast region at the 2013 AAU Inline International Junior Olympics 2013 in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Greene, a Keller native, had played ice hockey since he was 3, but his skill in the ice game garnered an invitation to join one of three US national teams that participated in the international tournament.

Ultimately, the Gulf Coast team, made up of players from Texas and Louisiana, brought gold medals back to their collective southern homes.

For Greene, the magnitude of playing in a tournament for his country set in at the beginning of the tournament final.

“We gained the lead off the start in the championship game. It was a shot from the side of the net that went top shelf,” Greene readily recollected.

The Gulf Coast squad faced off against another USA team from the West coast, a team Greene and his teammates lost to at the beginning of the tournament. However, the Gulf Coast team’s performance is one of the best moments of the tournament for Corrine Greene, Saxon’s mother.

“I think the coolest part to me was the final game against the west coach team,” Corrine Greene said. “They kept possession of the puck. The boys just worked really hard. They really earned that game. “

The younger Greene, a forward, scored several goals throughout the tournament, but none better than one he snuck through the goalie’s legs with a snap shot from the far right of his offensive zone.

The experience was also important for the 15-year-old Greene, who has future aspirations of college and junior hockey, because a concussion had the young player sidelined for the majority of the summer, keeping him away from key tournaments and league play that would give him more exposure across the nation.

Greene is a member of the Ice Jets, a program that combines hockey training and competition with academics. Greene practices with his team for half the day through the week and then goes to class for the second half of the day.

In his 42-game 2012-2013 ice hockey season, Greene scored 48 goals as part of 76 total points.

Through bracket play, USA Gulf Coast went undefeated, beating teams from Canada, China, Colombia, Great Britain and New Zealand.

440 teams from 26 countries participated in the tournament sanctioned by the USARS, the country’s governing body for inline hockey.

Greene’s take on representing his country on a international stage was short and sweet.

“It felt great and was exciting,” he said.

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