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Smith and Reid to Head 2021 Bantam Teams

By TM Staff, 03/31/20, 2:45PM EDT

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I truly believe that with Ceransky’s hiring of Russel Smith, we have rounded out not just the best Bantam staff in the DMV but one of the best in the country.  Reid has proven himself here at TM over last two year as a vital part of our development model and Smith will fit in as a seamless compliment.

Next on the list of coaching announcements is the Bantam age group (2007 & 2006 birth years).  USA Hockey’s LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development) considers Bantams to be roughly the beginning of the Train to Train stage.  The Train to Train stage is a development window in athletes used to emphasize training that continues the development of speed, strength and stamina while maintaining flexibility. This is a window of accelerated adaptation to aerobic, speed and strength training, and for maximum improvement in skill development. As a result, good training habits are developed during this stage. 

With that in mind putting its key to put two coaches in place who not only understand what it takes to play at the next level but also know how to properly develop athletes of this age to get the most out of their potential.  We are proud to announce our two Bantam Head Coaches, Russel Smith and Matt Reid.

“I truly believe that with Ceransky’s hiring of Russel Smith, we have rounded out not just the best Bantam staff in the DMV but one of the best in the country.  Reid has proven himself here at TM over last two year as a vital part of our development model and Smith will fit in as a seamless compliment.  A large majority of the very best players from Maryland go to these two men for private lessons.  It is clear who the area trusts when it comes to skill development,” Executive Director Mike Weiss.

Russell Smith Joins Team Maryland as the New Bantam Minor Head Coach

He was one of the first coaches I met when I moved here, and I have been waiting for the opportunity to work together ever since.  I have seen firsthand how he can positively affect the growth of a player and I want that for everyone at TM.

Coach Smith is beginning his first season as a Team Maryland Head Coach. He spent the last nine years as Hockey Director of one of the top Tier II programs in the area, the Tri-City Eagles.  Under his direction TCE saw growth from four teams to twenty-two teams.

Russel, a local product, grew up in the Annapolis, MD area.  He began his playing career for the Bowie Bruins. Following his time with Bowie, Coach Smith played for the Tri-City Eagles before making the jump to Tier 1 youth hockey with the Washington Little Caps. He attended Mount St. Joseph’s High School in Baltimore before transferring to the Pomfret School in Connecticut where he played two years of New England prep school hockey.

After his high school career, Russel moved on to the country’s best route to college hockey, juniors.  He spent two years at the junior hockey level in the EJHL for the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs and Lowell Jr. Lockmonsters which led him to a four-year NCAA career at Elmira College.

After college Russ went on to play professionally for four seasons with the Elmira Jackals (ECHL), New Mexico Scorpions (CHL), Twin City Cyclones (SPHL), Bloomington Prairie Thunder (IHL), Muskegon Lumberjacks (IHL) and Dayton Gems (IHL). In his last pro season, he spent the year with the Mississippi RiverKings (CHL).

After his professional career Russ took the position of Hockey Director for the Tri-City Eagles in Laurel, Maryland. In his nine years with Tri-City, he grew the program by over 400%, helping to create coveted 16U and 18U AA programs and an impressive girls program. In addition to his role as Hockey Director, Russ also frequently coached teams of his own. During his tenure he was responsible for two CBHL 18U AA Playoff Championships, a 14U AA Playoff Championship, a 10U Upper A CBHL Playoff Championship, and a 10U AA CBHL Playoff Championship. While also winning three Maryland State titles at the 18U level, taking the Eagles to Nationals on each occasion.

“We have experienced very real growth at Team Maryland in the coaching department.  During my time here we have welcomed Shawn Grant, Matt Reid, and Tony Horacek.  Russel is a great addition to that list.  He was one of the first coaches I met when I moved here, and I have been waiting for the opportunity to work together ever since.  I have seen firsthand how he can positively affect the growth of a player and I want that for everyone at TM.  Welcome to the family Russ,” Hockey Director Chris Ceransky.

Coach Smith is excited about the challenge and opportunity to coach at the Tier 1 level with the Team Maryland organization. His background as a coach and hockey director have provided him with invaluable experience which will translate well at the 2007 level.  Over the past seven years he’s owned and operated Dedicated Hockey, providing him with the knowledge and understanding of how to best create an elite level player.  We are grateful to have Russ and his dog Husmo in the TM family.

“I’m extremely grateful that TM has allowed me the opportunity to further my hockey career.  I look forward to developing each of the 07’s and helping them to become the best players and people they can be.  Although these are tough times, I hope all players are continuing their athletic and academic development so we can hit the ice at full speed when things get back to normal,” Coach Russ Smith.

Matt Reid Returns as the 2006 Head Coach for Second Straight Season

Yes Matt has been a great leap for us in the skills department, which makes him a great match for this age groups, but he also understands what I am trying to do here with our new culture and has been my right hand man when it comes to implementing it.  His infectious drive and ferocity has helped the club take things to the next level.

Coach Reid enters his 3rd season with Team Maryland and his second season as the club’s Skills Director.  In his first season with Team Maryland, Matt was instrumental in creating our 16U American team which marked the first time TM had two teams at a single age group.  If that wasn’t good enough, Coach Matt led the 16U American team to AYHL regular season and playoff championship in their very first season. He returns as the bench boss for the 2006 team for a second year, after a successful 2019-20 campaign.  Reid also assists the Maryland Blackbear staff as a skills coach.

“I couldn’t be happier with Matt’s effect on our club so far.  His players love him, and I consider him a friend not just a co-worker.  Yes Matt has been a great leap for us in the skills department, which makes him a great match for this age groups, but he also understands what I am trying to do here with our new culture and has been my right hand man when it comes to implementing it.  His infectious drive and ferocity has helped the club take things to the next level,” Hockey Director Chris Ceransky.

Coach Reid brings with him an impressive playing background.  Matt was in an elite group skill wise from an early age having played for the US National Team at U-16 and U-17 representing the United State in Germany and Japan. Reid was also selected by the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL Priority Selection Draft but chose to attend Northwood Prep in Lake Placid, NY.  Matt’s successful Prep School career culminated with his commitment to Clarkson University (NCAA-D-I) where he won an ECAC Championship in 1999.

After his college career Matt received a contract in the Washington Capitals Organization beginning a nine-year professional career.  Coach Reid had the honor to be in some of the best pro leagues in the world including the AHL, ECHL, EIHL, and in the Netherlands playing the game he loves both domestically and abroad.  Matts career was not short on highlights having played in the AHL (Portland Pirates, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and Hershey Bears), 390 total points in the ECHL (Pee Dee Pride, Florence Pride, and South Carolina Stingrays), was a part of 4 Championship teams, received numerous team MVP and Offensive awards, and was coached by several current NHL coaches. 

“I’d like to thank the Team Maryland organization for my opportunity to coach a 3rd season here.  I’m excited about the groundwork we built with the 06’s last season and hoping it can help moving forward.  Our expectations are high but our commitment to excellence and drive is higher,” Coach Matt Reid.

Matt has started his own hockey school, Redier Hockey, since moving to the area with his wife Laurie and dogs Maple & Harvey.