Ralph Sowder has been a terrific ambassador for the sport down South for as long as I can remember. His Tour Scorpions organization is one of the best in the country and they are led by some terrific coaches. Ralph seems to have done it all in Florida, he has been a big part of the Sportszone 2 facility in New Port Richey, setting the bar for what other youth organizations should try to be like, and doing a great job of promoting Team Florida as the State Director. Ralph was actually named the “State Director of the Year” in 2009, as seen above in this picture from our Awards Presentation. Sowder is a man of few words (as seen in his quick but effective answers below) but of great action. We are lucky to have a great man like Ralph in the sport of roller hockey and someone who continues to bridge the gap between ice and roller in his area. Enjoy…
State Wars Hockey: How long has your organization been in existence and who started your program?
RS: The Scorpions have been around for nine years and were started by Marsha Brown
State Wars Hockey: How many teams are in your organization?
RS: There are currently 8 roller hockey teams and 5 ice hockey teams in our organization.
State Wars Hockey: Who coaches your teams?
RS: Marsha Brown, Bill Nichols, Eric Smith, Dave York, Carl Napoli, Kurt Nelson are head coaches along with several assistant coaches.
State Wars Hockey: How often do your teams practice?
RS: On average twice a week roller or ice.
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?
RS: All of our players are from Florida.
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?
RS: I like the concept
State Wars Hockey: What intrigues you the most about State Wars?
RS: The state vs state format along with single birth year divisions. I also like the unbiased tryout evaluation process with the staff coming in from out of state to run the tryouts.
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?
RS: Ohio is centrally located and the Sports Plus facility is very kid friendly.
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?
RS: Yes I do like this concept for all of the younger divisions.