The Surrey Minor Ball Hockey Association (SMBHA) had its beginning in 1990 with a group of 14 & 15 year old players (Major Division) from Guilford Park Secondary School lead by Chris Zuk. Founded, organized and coached by Al Deagle (Past President) and Chris's Uncle Walter Zuk, they (borrowed÷ a set of uniforms and played their home games Saturday nights at the North Surrey arena. They scheduled games with the Langley Association (started by Jim Anderson and Gary Purdy) and with another new minor ball hockey association that was coincidentally starting in Delta that same year.
Year two saw the addition of a Junior Division to accommodate the graduating Major players. With Al & Walter coaching, the Junior team featured captain Dave Ennis, with brother Trevor in goal, Andy Gal and Bobby Gill on defense, and centre Guy Martinson as prominent players. The Major team was coached by Ken Kinney and starred Aaron McShane.
The years following brought steady growth, with word spreading through minor hockey and the community. The SMBHA was lead by Mark Stewart and treasurer Vic Wong in North Surrey, long serving registrar/coach/referee Joe Larocque and equipment manager Robin Lochbaum in Cloverdale as well as long time coach (17 years) Tony Sullivan in Newton.
By 1994 the league had grown to 16 teams and 250 players. Turmoil ensued the next several years with a Civic Workers' strike in '95, the loss of the Cloverdale Arena due to repairs in '96, and the sudden/unexpected death of Referee in Chief Steve Jones in late '97.
The last 10 years have seen tremendous growth in SMBHA with the help of such people as Referee in Chiefs Jinder Dhaliwal, Tyler Ingram and Treasurer Steve Woloshyn. The past two seasons has seen approximately 800 players involved in ball hockey in Surrey.
A new look was adopted by the league under the leadership of Rick Passek for the 2011 season, with innovation and development continuing under President Kim Kinakin. Current President, Darren Schneider, has continued the growth and development as we have continued see player numbers grow.
Though the multiple Provincial Championships in various divisions could be considered our league highlights, the true value of a league/sport, such as minor ball hockey, go far beyond accomplishments, there is the fun, fitness and friendships that develop; the memories and experiences made possible by the many coaches and volunteers, of which only a few are mentioned here, then there is helping build values, character and community with a bit of genuine Canadian culture, Ball hockey!
All it takes is all you've got!