MEDFORD, Ore. — Under new ownership, the Southern Oregon Spartans hockey team will stay in Medford. Dylan Martin, the general manager and coach, joined NewsWatch 12's Josh Shelton in the studio.
Below is the Q&A from the interview:
Josh: First question, just wanted to know why you chose the Southern Oregon Spartans?
Dylan: Well there's a lot of reasons. Probably the biggest would be the community involvement with this team. We kind of had an idea of what we were walking into and since recently just moving here, we were just blown away. We thought we knew what we were coming into, but we actually had no idea. The community has just been so excited that hockey is staying and we just couldn't be more excited to keep hockey here and to keep the community happy and for what they do for us, it's hard to repay them.
Josh: Looking forward, you're going to be the GM and coach, what's that going to entail for you?
Dylan: It's a lot, you know, to actually go over the X's and O's and the practice plans and the training of the team and as the general manager come up with basically assembling a roster, which is another job in of itself. But I'm excited to handle both. I'm going to hand pick my team and I get to run my team. So, definitely excited about it.
Josh: And what are your goals for this first season as you get started?
Dylan: Well I think with any team it's the same goal, you know: playoffs. Once you get to playoffs it's a completely different season. We just saw it in the NHL this year. A last place team comes into the playoffs and makes a run. Any team I've coached my philosophies don't change as far as playoffs. Once you get there it's a completely new season and you never know what happens from there.
Josh: Back in 2011, you actually tried out for the Spartans and now you get a chance to run the team. What's that like being back here?
Dylan: It's awesome because at that time, and it still holds true to this day, everybody wanted to come out here and play, I wasn't fortunate enough to come out here and play, but I stuck with the team ever since then. And I met my beautiful wife in college and we started discussing ownership and coaching and this and that in the junior hockey industry and this was one of the first teams that I showed her. I said, 'This is exactly how we would run our team' and it's pretty crazy that we took that model of how we wanted to do it and now we actually own the team that inspired us to do it.
Josh: Anything else that you'd like to add just about Southern Oregon and the Spartans and what's going to be coming up this season?
Dylan: It's going to be an entertaining season. I've been on the recruiting trail all summer. We're going to have a good team, you know. We're going to have a good product. I have a list of guys that I want to bring in that will produce for me on the ice, but I know their character off the ice and so yeah I'm assembling a good roster, so we should be pretty darn good this year.