Fresh off last season's HJHL Championship sweep over the Cochrane Generals the Okotoks Bisons are gearing up for a special 2022/23 season.
They have been selected as the host team for the Junior B Provincial Championships.
The team has hosted the championships before, however, this will be a first for GM Ryan Rarick.
An honour a long time coming for Rarick.
"I’ve put in these before for the Bisons and we weren't successful, so it's always nice when you get the e-mail or the call to find out your bid was successful.
"You put in a lot of time in those and sometimes you start to wonder if it's worthwhile. But you know when you get the call that you've got it, it makes it all worth it."
He's known about the selection for a few weeks but had to keep it under wraps until the official announcement came out Friday, September 3.
He gives thanks to those that made last season so special, especially the fans.
"All the fans, but particularly those young and rowdy ones we had. That word spread and that helps. You're not just going to have a strong team and be a good host, but you're going to be able to put some fans in the stands and we definitely had that last year.
"Hopefully, we can capture those same things again this year and can't thank them enough for what they did. I do believe that that had a reason for our bid being successful."
He mentions Tyler King of the Okotoks Oilers played a huge part.
"Having the Oilers on board with our bid I think was a deciding factor. I don't think that there's any other program that could say ‘we have the junior A team and we're able to use some of the infrastructures that they have in place, like the video board.’ That's Tyler King as well, he didn't have to help the way that he has already helped and will help."
Their season opens Friday, September 16 with a banner-raising ceremony and home opener against the Cochrane Generals. Provincials are set to begin in February.