Tigers, Cheyenne Mountain grad, Colorado Springs native Villers kicking off junior hockey career with NA3HL’s Cobras
Weston Villers spent his entire childhood in Colorado Springs skating for the Colorado Springs Tigers and then last season at Cheyenne Mountain High School.
This season, he’s on the move for junior hockey, joining the NA3HL’s Butte Cobras, a team coached by Vail native Kirk Golden.
“The opportunity to play for Butte came from my assistant coach this past season, Kristen Wright,” said Villers. “Kristen knows Kirk and was kind enough to pass my name along. Kirk reached out to me from there and got the ball rolling. Really what sold me was what Kirk is doing for the team and its culture. He’s put a lot of time and work into a team who hasn’t had the best track record in the past. And in only one year with the team, Kirk has helped them reach a number of achievements, such as setting the record for their most wins in a season, their most goals scored, and other things.
“I’m really excited to be leaving home and grateful to have a really supportive family behind me.”
Villers said the 2021-22 season with Cheyenne Mountain was “truly indescribable.”
“On our team, there were 10 players including myself who had been playing together for as long as I can remember,” Villers said. “We all grew up playing through the Colorado Springs Tigers. When we got to high school, there was a split as our birth years differed, and some of us continued on to play AAA, while others gave up club when we reached our freshman year. Yet, somehow, it all worked out in a way that allowed us to play one last season together, and it couldn’t have gone any better truly. On a personal level this last season was very successful, I was happy with my production and the ways I was able to improve my game.
“Last season, I took on a bigger role than what I had been used to, including getting a lot more minutes mostly on the power play. This gave me a lot more confidence in my ability in different situations and really helped my game overall.”
Villers noted that there is much to like about the NA3HL.
“The number of kids that continue on to play collegiate hockey from the NA3 is definitely appealing,” said Villers. “I also like their affiliation with the NAHL, and that they are the only Tier III junior league in the states that is endorsed by USA Hockey.”
Back home, Villers skated for the Tigers from 8U through 16U AAA.
“All of my coaches have played a huge role in not only my development as a player, but as a person as well,” Villers said. “However, one coach sticks out in particular – my 15U AAA coach Joey Carroll. Joey is not just a great coach, but he’s just a great guy overall. He pushed me to be better on the ice and showed me how to be a leader off the ice.”
Moving forward, Villers has realistic goals he has set for himself.
“Really right now, I’m just focused on playing the game I love while I still have it,” said Villers. “Short term, I’m really just focused on getting on the ice with a new team and getting to work, and I believe in the long term that God will continue me on the path he has picked out for me, so I’m not too worried about that.”
— Matt Mackinder
(September 15, 2022)