IHF Trophy Tournament Ends: A Huge Success for the USA

May 15, 2018, 2:33 p.m. (ET)

It was a long and grueling effort to make the 2018 IHF Trophy Tournament held in West Dundee, Illinois, into a success.  However, Craig Rot and his righthand man, Greg Inahara, labored for months to put the tournament together and they were rewarded with not only a smoothly running event, but exciting and competitive games!  Rot had double-duty as the tournament administrator, but for a few hours a day he was also the USA Men’s Youth National Team Head Coach!

Saturday was the last day of the competition.  Unfortunately for the USA Youth Team, they were outmatched by a seasoned Canadian squad.  The USA was game, but the Canadians were exceptional in all aspects of the game. The Canadians won the Gold Medal in the youth division with the USA winning the Bronze

The USA Youth Team was on average younger and less experience than their competitors in this tournament.  Yet, Coach Rot has much to be happy with and reason to be optimistic. In fact, the skill level of some of the players is exceptional.  More games against better competition over the next couple of years will present him with a team able to compete with all comers in both the youth and junior classification.

USA Men’s Junior National Team Head Coach Julio Sainz was elated with his team as the overcame the advantages of their Canadian rivals and beat them 25-23 to win the Gold Medal.  “I am so proud of these players! They did everything Pierre (Binderis) and I asked of them to do and they were outstanding. Today, even after losing Paul (Skorupa), these guys didn’t quit and any way.  All of them were great throughout the tournament. Today, they were amazing!”

Sebastian Wheeler came up big with a game high eight goals.  He was followed by Giona Dobrani with six and William Kennedy with five.  Paul Skorupa tallied three goals but was disqualified shortly into the second half.  Zachary Reitz had two and Nikolas Zarikos one. With their victory, the USA qualifies to move on to the continental phase of the IHF competition.

Like Craig Rot with the Youth Team, Julio is also sitting in a great position with the Junior Team.  They have solid offensive skills and an excellent defense with Rene Ingram in goal to make up for any shortcomings.