Great Falls Chris Bass is no stranger to the Old Brogue. As a young man he was there on opening day in 1981 and hasn’t strayed too far since. In fact, now he wears a jersey with the bar’s name on it, as a member of the Old Brogue inline hockey team.
Bass, a Langley High School graduate who currently teaches at Langley and owns Langley Real Estate serves as captain, coach and player for the team, which also features a number of Langley alumni.
"I started teaching at Langley 13 years ago and began coaching an inline hockey team," he said. "It grew pretty quick from about 10 kids playing after school with a folding goal, and soon we formed a team."
The team plays at the Dulles SportsPlex in Sterling. They play a four-on-four game, wearing hip, shin and kneepads as well as gloves. The games are serious, as the cast on Bass’s right wrist can attest, he was injured in the team’s most recent semifinals win.
"The game is a little bit faster, and with a lot more scoring," Bass said.
Games are on Thursdays and Sundays, and the team doesn’t get much chance to practice together besides game days.
"We have about five minutes before games to warm up, and then we’re playing," said Rob McMains, Langley Class of 2003. "But I think we’ve gotten a good feel for what everybody does, and we’re all pretty responsive and talkative as the game is going on. We’re able to communicate pretty well."
AT ONE POINT in the early 2000s they had enough people to field three teams, two "junior varsity" and one "varsity." During their first iteration the team won championships in the winter of 2003 and 2004, but after a while the team drifted apart.
Recently they re-formed and picked up their success right where they left off, winning three championships in a row, the most recent being a few weeks ago. During this current run, they posted a 14-1 regular season record and a 3-0 postseason record, scoring 123 goals and only allowing 42.
"We were able to win the last three seasons, which we didn’t necessarily expect going in," McMains said. "An inline place closed last year so we added a few teams, and it was really competitive last season, and it’s only going to get more so."
The current team is made up of mostly Langley alumni, ranging from 1993 to 2009.
Jason Zuccari, a member of Langley’s Class of 2006, was a player under Bass at Langley. He’s played inline and ice hockey.
"It’s been nice reconnecting to people I haven’t seen in a while," he said. "A lot of the guys on the team were seniors when I was a freshman, guys I hadn’t seen in 10 years, so it’s cool to see how everyone’s life has brought them back to the area."
Bass says the team is on a good run now, and he hopes it continues.
"This is our longest streak of playing together and it’s been a lot of fun," Bass said. "We lost a few players last season, but we were able to replace them, and now I think we have enough guys interested to feed the system."
There are three seasons per year, summer, fall and winter, and the summer 2011, fall 2011 and winter 2012 seasons all resulted in championships for Old Brogue Hockey.
"Hopefully the summer 2012 trophy will have our names on it as well," Bass said.
THE TEAM’S REACH has extended literally around the globe, with jersey sales coming from around the country and even Germany. Bass says the jerseys can regularly be found at Capitals games and even recalls one instance where a friend of his saw a jersey in Sonoma, Calif.
The summer season began May 3. More information can be found on Facebook under "Old Brogue Hockey."