There are very few people in the sport who truly respect the game and lead by example, Dave Zarem of the Detroit Mission Stars is one of those people. Dave is what you might call “old school” and no that doesn’t mean he is old, well maybe it does but if you looked at Dave, listened to his passion on the bench, or even watched him play the game…you might think he was in his early thirties. Dave commands respect and is a no nonsense kind of guy, that is probably a big part of the reason we get along so well and why we are proud to call him a co-State Director of Michigan. Dave not only takes pride in the fact that he is representing Michigan while at State Wars, he makes sure that every player, coach, and parent feels the same. When Dave is not coaching Team Michigan he can generally be seen running the class organization called the Detroit Mission Stars. Dave was nice enough to take a few moments to speak with us about the Stars, State Wars, and Michigan hockey. Enjoy…
State Wars Hockey: How long has your organization been in existence and who started your program?
DZ: DETROIT MISSION STARS program started in 1998 by my good friend Mike Schnurr. We have Won 3 Narch Platinum and 2 pro Torhs championships. Our Masters team has won Narch and Torhs as well. I have since taken over and am currently in our 5th year of our youth program in which we won 4 Narch titles in Toronto in 09.
State Wars Hockey: How many teams are in your organization?
DZ: 6u through 18u along with Pro, Masters, Women’s and this year hoping to add a girls team.
State Wars Hockey: Who coaches your teams?
DZ: Steve Kolis, John Murray, Nicolette Franck, along with myself. All NON PARENT COACHES. Always looking for good experienced coaches to add to our already experienced staff. Couldn’t do it without a committed manager for each team and help from dads that all have a hockey background.
State Wars Hockey: How often do your teams practice?
DZ: We try to practice once a week during the late winter into spring/summer.
State Wars Hockey: Do you guys try to select players from your area/state or do you like to get some out of state players as well?
DZ: We are proud to say all of our players come from our local programs. We have a belief that you build from within your own community.
State Wars Hockey: What makes our event so unique is that EVERY player has to live in the state to be able to play at State Wars. How do you feel about State Wars and our state vs. state concept?
DZ: Well it fits right into the Detroit Mission Stars belief of keeping it within our state. Proud to see every player that has ever attended tryouts for SW from the DMS program representing our great State of Michigan.
State Wars Hockey: What intrigues you the most about State Wars?
DZ: Non Bias player selection. No pressure on the selection committee to choose local program players, all have the same chance to make teams. Most of all the old school concept of coming to a tryout hoping to play for your state not knowing who the coach is or what players will be selected.
State Wars Hockey: This summer. State Wars 7 will be held in Cincinnati, Oh. Have you ever been to the Sports Plus facility? If so, what do you like about the facility?
DZ: I believe you need a facility that fits everyone from the player to the coach and most importantly the parents, fans and siblings that may attend. Sports Plus has committed to improving their facility every year I have attended. And it helps that I have had much success there as a player and a coach.
State Wars Hockey: At State Wars, we have youth teams that are made up of mixed players from around the country. These teams are filled with players that want to experience State Wars and who are unable to field teams out of their state. What are your thoughts of our “mixed” teams?
DZ: I TOTALLY SUPPORT THIS. SW is all about letting players experience this great sport even if they don’t belong to an established program. Same goes for the players that be not be able to attend if that age group isn’t popular. I am all about giving kids opportunities.
State Wars Hockey: Tell me something about roller hockey in your area that most people would have no clue about…..
DZ: With Michigan being such a huge hockey state, it is great that the player who only plays roller hockey and not ice can also be considered a “real hockey player”. Believe it or not there are many great hockey players here in Michigan who do not play ice.
Thanks again Dave for all that you do. Check out the Detroit Stars website at www.detroitstars.com