The Mighty Kodiaks and their president

Kodiaks' President explains impact of sled hockey in Hagerstown area

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - We told you about Michael Barnhart before. He is a man with challenges that he must face on a daily basis, and was one of the men that brought sled hockey to the Hagerstown area.
 
WHAG paid him a visit to see his progress after a couple of months on the ice.
 
"Things are challenging, but I just try to just push forward and look positively on everything,” said Barnhart. “I do a lot of laughing and joking around. [You] just gotta move on and keep living life, and thank god every day that I have what I have."
 
"A lot of people call it [a] disability or disabilities. I call it a challenge. We all have our own challenges, but some have more challenges than others," said Barnhart.
 
"Sled hockey is basically the same as stand-up hockey, except you're on a sled. You have two sticks that have picks on them, and you're basically propelling yourself with the sticks. On the other end is what you hit the puck with. It's a little different. You're against the boards a lot. There's no plexy glass. It's all boards," said Barnhart. 
 
"I know the challenged ones that have tried this out have basically not stopped. They're like me! The first time you try it, you're stuck. I don't like to use the word, but I would say it's kind of like an addiction. Once you get on, you wanna keep doing it and try to keep doing better. The families love seeing them being able to get out, do something, get away from the struggles of life and then again have fun. They're on their feet all the time, just from watching practices. They're just right up [against] the glass watching, and they're just happy to see their family members out there. So, it's a great time," said Barnhart. 
 
"All I can say is anybody that has challenges and thinks that they can't do anything -- all I can say is -- never give up," said Barnhart.
 
Barnhart said that the team is open to anyone who wants to try out, no matter how old, or what their challenge is. If you are interested in joining, you can contact Barnhart at kodiaks16@hotmail.com.

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