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Covington Street Hockey exemplifies what the Authenti-CITY Award is all about: fun, quirky and cool

Fourth in series of five

To mark National Economic Development Week, the city of Covington is presenting the first-annual “Authenti-CITY Awards” to acknowledge five places, events, people and organizations that make The COV an authentically cool city in the Tri-State.

The City staff will be presenting the award, a certificate, balloons and goat-shaped cookies to five winners each day this week.

Today’s winner is Covington Street Hockey (CSHL).

The CSHL started in 2018 with a humble goal: Get together each week to play. But in three short years (including one “stolen” by the pandemic), “it’s turned into something much bigger than any of us thought it ever would,” Executive Director Tim Acri says.

Sure, they play street hockey a couple of times a week (more on that later).

Just some of the League’s 120 adult skaters. Executive Director Tim Acri holds the Authenti-CITY trophy, which is in the shape of a goat to honor the Goebel Goats (look it up), which is also the name of one of CSHL’s teams, and, well, G.O.A.T.

But the CSHL is now a full-fledged organization — with a capital “O” – that teaches hockey to neighborhood youth and holds toy drives and litter cleanups to better the community. It has officers, a board, a cool website, sponsors, some 120 skaters on six teams, and online merchandise (meaning its logos are slowly becoming a common sight throughout The Cov. In short, the CSHL has rapidly become another thread in Covington’s social fabric.

But why specifically did we give them one of these coveted awards?

One, the CSHL is cool, fun, and quirky, and the action is fast-paced and competitive. Come watch their monthly tournaments, or the pick-up play every Thursday evening and Saturday morning.

The names of the six teams, by the way (Licking River Rats, Devou Devils, Roebling Trolls, MainStrasse Misfits, Shields, Goebel Goats) all pay tribute to elements of Covington.

Two, the organization has become an able and willing partner with the community and the City, time and again.

They play at Barb Cook Park on Ashland Avenue, where Covington Parks & Rec recently did a massive rehab and agreed to let the league build a permanent home using its own funds. (Previously, CSHL played at Kenny Shields Park in MainStrasse Village.) Trivia: the new rink’s “boards” came from Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio, which was damaged by a tornado and then demolished.

The Covington Street Hockey League Board and some of its officers: From left, Sunil “Professor” Ketty, Nick “Way Way” Waymeyer, Tim Acri, Jesse “Commish” Kleinhenz, Sam Carmine, Justin “Captain” Patterson, and Travis Henri. Missing board members: Kara Acri and Chris “Candyman” Jenco.

The park is across Madison Pike from the Latonia Terrace housing complex, and CSHL holds a Saturday morning youth league that includes neighborhood kids.

And three, CSHL personifies The COV’s values.

On its website, its founders say their goal was to create an organization where “everyone feels welcome no matter race, color, creed or skill sets.”

The website then elaborates:

• Mission: Community engagement through the game of hockey and contributing toward the improvement of local public spaces.

• Vision: Positive community development with an emphasis on inclusivity, symbiotic growth, and fun.

• Values: Inclusiveness. Community. Participation. Quality. Fun.

Yes, “Authenti-CITY” indeed.

Tomorrow: Winner #5

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