Posts Tagged ‘OHL’
2016 OHL DRAFT PICKS
A total of 18 TPH (Total Package Hockey)-trained players were drafted to the Ontario Hockey League on April 9, including nine who attend the TPH Center of Excellence.
Leading the way were TPH CoE student-athletes Blade Jenkins and Bode Wilde, who were drafted in the first and second round, respectively.
“Congratulations to the players, parents and staff at the TPH Academy on being selected in the OHL Priority Selection Draft,” said OHL Senior Director of Hockey Development & Special Events Joe Birch. “The environment created at the program provides players an excellent opportunity to develop as elite student-athletes and prepares players for the next level. We anticipate to see many more players drafted out of this program in years to come.”
Both Jenkins and Wilde were selected by the Saginaw Spirit. Jenkins, a Michigan commit and Compuware U16 standout, went No. 4 overall while the Harvard commit and Chicago Mission U16 star, Wilde, went at No. 35.
TPH CoE students Caleb Everett (Saginaw Spirit) and Drew DeRidder (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) were taken in the sixth round. Two rounds later, recent Denver commit Will MacKinnon was drafted by the Guelph Storm.
A trio of CoE student-athletes and Little Caesars U16 players in Xan Gurney (Barrie Colts), Christian Krygier (London Knights) and Cole Krygier (London Knights) were drafted in rounds nine and 10. Chase Pletzke was selected in the 14th round by the Spirit.
Additionally, nine other TPH-trained athletes, including players from the TPH OHL Cup team, TPH Thunder AAA team, and TPH MHA Top 80 program, were selected in the draft.
The TPH CoE student-athletes who were drafted to the OHL have used TPH’s variety of hockey resources to develop and grow into well-rounded players on and off the ice. An elite training program, the TPH CoE features a unique blend of academics and athletics to help players develop a complete hockey lifestyle.
“When I first visited the TPH Academy and met the staff, it was evident that it was an environment that was conducive to learning,” said Adam Dennis, OHL director of recruitment. “Whether it be on the ice or in the classroom, the students were engaged and excited to be there. It comes as no surprise that we are starting to see a direct correlation to the OHL Priority Selection. TPH has proven to be a leader in elite athletic development and I look forward to working together for years to come.”
Total Package Hockey is one of the largest hockey service providers in the country, offering youth and adult programs from Detroit to Atlanta. TPH provides programs, which are staffed by highly qualified elite hockey coaches and professionals, to more than 4,000 players each year. With programs in 18 total U.S. cities, including teams in the NA3HL and T1EHL, TPH specializes in skill-based player development and has a track record of moving players to junior, college and professional hockey.
TPH-trained players selected in 2016 OHL Draft
Blade Jenkins – TPH CoE/Compuware U16/ 1st Round to Saginaw Spirit
Danil Antropov -TPH Prospects/Toronto Marlies U16/ 1st Round to Oshawa Generals
Akil Thomas – TPH Prospects/Toronto Marlies U16/ 1st Round to Niagara Ice Dog
Bode Wilde – TPH CoE/Chicago Mission U16/ 2nd Round to Saginaw Spirit
Alec Regula – TPH MHA Top 80 Program / TPH OHL Cup Team/Cranbrook High School/ 4th Round to London Knights
Lucas Crawford – TPH OHL Cup/Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U15/ 5th Round to Owen Sound Attack
Caleb Everett – TPH CoE/Honeybaked U16/ 6th Round to Saginaw Spirit
Drew Deridder – TPH CoE/Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U16/6th Round to S.S. Marie Greyhounds
Will Mackinnon – TPH CoE/Honeybaked U16/ 8th Round to Guelph Storm
Ben Shultheis – TPH Thunder AAA Team/9th Round to Owen Sound Attack
Xan Gurney – TPH CoE/Little Caesars U16/9th Round to Barrie Colts
Christian Krygier – TPH CoE/Little Caesars U16/9th Round to London Knights
Cole Krygier – TPH CoE/Little Caesars U16/ 10th Round to London Knights
Hunter Nofs – TPH OHL Cup/Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U15/ 11th Round to Hamilton Bulldogs
Hunter Carrick – TPH OHL Cup/Oakland Grizlies U16/ 11th Round to Ottawa 67’s
Chase Pletzke – TPH CoE/Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U16/14th Round to Saginaw Spirit
Matt Staudacher – TPH 8 Week Summer Program/Shattuck St. Mary’s/14th Round to Niagara Ice Dogs
Jack Tucker – TPH OHL Cup/Buffalo Jr. Sabres/ 14th Round to Kitchener Rangers
CLICK HERE TO APPLY TO TPH CoE FOR 2016-2017
TPH Detroit Partners with the Saginaw Spirit
SPIRIT PARTNER WITH TOTAL PACKAGE HOCKEY FOR SKILL DEVELOPMENT
SAGINAW, Mich. – Saginaw Spirit General Manager Dave Drinkill announced Wednesday the hiring of Brandon Naurato and Sean Perkins from Total Package Hockey as Skill Development Coaches.
“By adding Brandon and Sean as our new skill coaches, it continues the reconstruction of the Saginaw Spirit program. Having the opportunity to meet both of these individuals this past season, it is easy to see why they have become the premier instructors and teachers of skill development in Michigan.”
Naurato, 31, brings a wealth of knowledge to the forefront including a familiarity with the state of Michigan. A Livonia, Michigan native, Naurato played his NCAA college hockey at the University of Michigan where he won a CCHA Championship in 2008. Naurato’s pro career spanned 180 games between Stockton (ECHL), Toledo (ECHL), Port Huron (IHL), Fort Wayne (CHL), and Dayton (CHL). Naurato is the Director of Hockey Operations in the Detroit branch of Total Package Hockey, which opened its doors in 2012.
Perkins, 29, grew up 90 minutes away from Saginaw in Commerce Township. The Detroit Compuware graduate played 130 junior games between the USHL, NAHL, and BCHL. Perkins also logged a lot of miles during his pro career, spanning five seasons. Perkins spent parts of three seasons in the ECHL with Cincinnati, Greenville, and Idaho. Parts of two seasons in Edinburgh (United Kingdom), a season in Demark, 10 games in Vimmerby, Sweden, and one season in the Central Hockey League with Missouri and Allen. Like head coach Spencer Carbery, Sean Perkins is also an ECHL Kelly Cup Champion, winning his with the Cincinnati Cyclones in 2008.
“Brandon and Sean work tirelessly on their trade.” said Drinkill. “They are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to help players reach their highest potential. Our players should be very excited to work with TPH throughout the season. I want to officially welcome Brandon, Sean, and Total Package Hockey to the Spirit family, as we start a new era of Saginaw Spirit hockey.”
Total Package Hockey is one of the largest hockey service providers in the country, providing programs to over 4,000 players and supporting more than 200 coaches, administrators, and volunteers each year. They manage and support youth and adult hockey programs from Detroit to Atlanta. TPH specializes in skill-based player development from grassroots and outreach programs that introduce the game to elite programs with a track record of moving players to junior and college hockey.
“We are honored and excited to be a part of the Saginaw Spirit Staff.” said Naurato. “It is our goal to help support the coaching staff and ownership group to develop future professionals through on-ice development and off-ice mentoring. Thank you to Dick Garber, Craig Goslin, and Dave Drinkill for the opportunity and their innovative approach to player development.”
Spirit head coach Spencer Carbery also touted the talents of TPH: “Brandon and Sean will be extremely valuable additions to our hockey operations staff. They possess the ability to help our players develop their skills and continue to improve. This addition will not only be great for our current players, but for our future players as well.”
To find out more information on Total Package Hockey, visit their website at www.totalpackagehockey.com
Renars Krastenbergs Commits to Generals
JULY 28, 2016
OSHAWA, ON – The Oshawa Generals announced today that Latvian forward Renars Krastenbergs has committed to the club.
Krastenbergs was selected by the Generals during second round (77th overall) of the 2016 CHL Import Draft. Kratsenbergs represented Latvia last year at the 2016 Under-18 World Championship. He led the team in points during the tournament scoring twice while adding six assists in eight games. He spent last season with the TPH Thunder AAA where he scored nine goals and nine assists in 30 games.
“This is another exciting addition to the Generals from this draft class,” said Vice President and General Manager Roger Hunt. “After watching Renars at the Under-18 World Championship we know he will bring added skill to our line-up and compliment the current players we have in our locker room.”
Kratsenbergs will look to impress scouts next season as he is eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft.
For more information, please visit oshawagenerals.com.
18 TPH-trained players selected in 2017 OHL Priority Selection
NINE ARE STUDENT-ATHLETES AT THE TPH CENTER OF EXCELLENCE PROGRAMS IN CANTON AND HAZEL PARK.
The 2017 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection took place on April 8, with a new crop of hockey players hearing their names called by OHL franchises. Eighteen Total Package Hockey-trained players were selected during the 15-round selection process. Of that number, nine are student-athletes at the TPH Center of Excellence programs in Canton and Hazel Park.
“It has been 10 short years since I have been a part of the TPH Family, and the COE has made unbelievable strides in developing elite players. Not only are they dedicated on ice, but what I think separates COE players is their off-ice work ethic, whether it’s in the classroom or weight room. TPH COE gives players all the tools they need to prepare for their journey to play at the highest level, ” said OHL Director of Player Recruitment Daniel Broussard.
“The credit goes to the kids,” said TPH Detroit director Brandon Naurato. “They are the ones sacrificing and doing the work daily to put themselves in this position.”
Over the past two seasons, 20 TPH Center of Excellence players have been selected by OHL franchises.
“We couldn’t be more proud of our players and how they are representing the Center of Excellence Program,” said TPH Detroit director Brandon Naurato. “It’s not a secret that every player that attends our school will see a huge impact in their game when it comes to on-ice skill development, but that is not what the school is all about. It’s not just a hockey school and we don’t want that label. It’s the players that take advantage of all of the other resources that have the opportunity to become special. Our players go on school visits, they give back to a family in need during the holidays, and the older players serve as mentors to the younger students at TPH. Those are the daily choices that lead to high character young men who are helping us build that distinct culture.”
Total Package Hockey would like to congratulate the following players on being selected by Ontario Hockey League franchises Saturday in the league’s annual Priority Selection.
Tag Bertuzzi – OHL Cup participant – Guelph Storm
Grayson Ladd – World Select Invite participant – Kitchener Rangers
Nicholas Robertson – World Select Invite participant – Peterborough Petes
Marcus Gretz – TPH Center of Excellence – Flint
Arthur Kaliyev – TPH Center of Excellence – Hamilton
Mack Guzda – TPH Center of Excellence – Owen Sound
Andrew Perrott – TPH Center of Excellence – London
Mitchell Miller – TPH Center of Excellence – Sarnia Sting
Johnny Beecher – OHL Cup participant – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Dylan Wendt – TPH Center of Excellence – Owen Sound Attack
Hunter Skinner – TPH Center of Excellence – London Knights
Egor Afanasyev – OHL Cup participant – Ottawa 67’s
Brendan Kischnick – TPH Center of Excellence – Erie Otters
Cameron Rowe – OHL Cup participant – London Knights
Jayden Jensen – OHL Cup participant – Hamilton Bulldogs
Jordan Smith – World Select Invite participant – Peterborough Petes
Michael Mancinelli – TPH Center of Excellence – Hamilton Bulldogs
Davis Pennington – OHL Cup participant – Peterborough Petes
TPH Prospects at the OHL Cup
Two long-standing OHL Cup American entries make their return to the annual showcase this week as Elite Hockey Group and TPH Hockey take to the ice with a mix of talent from across the United States.
Both clubs played to competitive 2-2-0-0 records at last year’s event with Elite Hockey Group being led by London Knights rookie Dalton Duhart (5-0–5) while TPH featured Guelph Storm rookie Tag Bertuzzi (1-2–3).
“I anticipate we’ll see a couple of competitive teams from south of the border,” commented OHL Director of Central Scouting Darrell Woodley. “It always takes some time to get the rosters finalized but both of these teams are set now and raring to go.”
Elite Hockey Group features a number of capable forwards up front including Isaac Novak of Detroit Belle Tire, Dane Dowiak of the Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins, Michael Cameron of the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers and Kyle Smolen of the Chicago Young Americans.
EHG also includes a familiar name in forward Matthew DeBoer, the son of former OHL head coach and current San Jose Sharks bench boss Peter DeBoer.
“This team might be a smaller group but there’s definitely some skill there,” noted Woodley. “They’ll be a quick team and like always, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of chemistry they form with a lot of these guys playing together for the first time.”
EHG will compete in the Nash Division alongside the GTHL Champion Toronto Marlboros, OMHA Silver Medalist Guelph Gryphons, ALLIANCE Wild Card Series winner Cambridge Hawks and the winner of a Wild Card Play-In Game between the Sun County Panthers and the Toronto Titans.
In the Shanahan Division, TPH Hockey will go up against the OMHA Champion York-Simcoe Express, GTHL Finalist Mississauga Reps and a pair of Wild Card Play-In entries.
Consisting of talent brought in largely from the Michigan and Illinois regions, TPH will look for stability from the back end as dependable defenders in Noah Marino of the Chicago Fury and Frank Jenkins of Detroit Honeybaked’s U15 team patrol the blue line.
Up front, big 6-foot-6, 195Ib. forward Kyle Van Compernolle has recorded 24 points (13-11–24) in 26 games with the Fox Motors U15 team this season and brings an intriguing blend of size and skill to the roster.
“TPH has featured some pretty good players in recent years,” said Woodley. “Guys like Jack Studnicka, Blade Jenkins and Tag Bertuzzi have all worn the sweater so it will be interesting to see if there’s another big name or two that will assert themselves this week.”
Elite Hockey Group is in action on Tuesday night with a big challenge, squaring off with the Toronto Marlboros to begin the tournament. TPH hits the ice on Wednesday afternoon to take on the GTHL Finalist Mississauga Reps.
Now that we’ve looked at the American teams, let’s take a glance at how things wrapped up in playoff action across Ontario these past few weeks.
***The four teams that reach the GTHL semi-finals earn a 2018 OHL Cup berth. (Toronto Marlboros, Mississauga Reps, Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Vaughan Kings). The winners of the GTHL Wild Card Play-In Series will earn a Wild Card Play-In game opportunity at the OHL Cup (Mississauga Rebels, Mississauga Senators). The Don Mills Flyers and Toronto Titans were chosen by the OHL Cup Wild Card Selection Committee and will compete in Play-In games on Tuesday March 13th.
(1) Toronto Marlboros vs. (2) Mississauga Reps
Marlboros win series 9-5 in points
GTHL WILD CARD SERIES A
(5) Don Mills Flyers vs. (8) Mississauga Senators
Senators win series 9-5 in points
GTHL WILD CARD SERIES B
(6) Mississauga Rebels vs. (7) Toronto Titans
Rebels win series 9-5 in points
*** The champion, finalist (London Jr. Knights, Brantford 99’ers) and third place team qualify for the 2017 OHL Cup
(2) London Jr. Knights vs. (4) Brantford 99’ers
Brantford wins series 6-4 in points
ALLIANCE WILD CARD SERIES
(1) Cambridge Hawks vs. (3) Sun County Panthers
Cambridge wins series 6-0 in points
***The OMHA champion York-Simcoe Express, Guelph Gryphons, Oakville Rangers and Barrie Jr. Colts have clinched at spot at the 2018 OHL Cup Powered by Under Armour. The fifth place Quinte Red Devils and SCTA’s Grey-Bruce Highlanders will play a Wild Card Play-In Game. The Peterborough Petes and Niagara North Stars were chosen by the OHL Cup Wild Card Selection Committee to also compete in a Wild Card Play-In game.
OMHA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
York-Simcoe Express defeat Guelph Gryphons 3-1
OMHA CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS
- York-Simcoe Express
- Guelph Gryphons
- Oakville Rangers
- Barrie Jr . Colts
- Quinte Red Devils (OHL Cup Wild Card Play-In Game)
OMHA SCTA WILD CARD PLAY-IN QUALIFIER
Grey-Bruce Highlanders defeat Brampton 45’s 5-2
For more information on the 2018 OHL Cup Showcase Tournament Powered by Under Armour, visit ohlcup.ca.
TPH Alum Jan Kaminsky, University of McGill is headed to the 2018 U SPORTS University Cup
See full article here: http://ontariohockeyleague.com/article/5-ohl-grads-win-oua-championship-with-mcgill
Five OHL graduates are 2018 OUA Queen’s Cup Champions with the McGill Redmen following a 5-1 win over the Brock Badgers in a one-game championship matchup on Saturday in St. Catharines.
Samuel Tremblay (Gatineau Olympiques) scored a pair of goals while OHL grad Jan Kaminsky (Belleville Bulls) picked up an assist in the win as the Redmen outshot the Badgers 32-25 and went 3-for-8 on the power play.
McGill played to a first place record of 24-2-2 during the regular season and hoists the Queen’s Cup for the 18th time in the event’s 107-year history.
Veteran defenceman Nathan Chiarlitti (Owen Sound Attack), who had 16 points (3-13–16) in 28 regular season games for the Redmen, was nominated as the OUA East Division’s frontrunner for the Dr. Randy Gregg Award. Chiarlitti, who is in his second year at McGill after three seasons with the StFX X-Men, was the 2016 recipient of the award that rewards players who exhibit excellence on the ice, in the classroom and in the community.
McGill, Brock and the OUA bronze medalist Concordia Stingers advance to the 2018 U SPORTS University Cup set to take place from March 14-18 in Fredericton, NB. The eight-team national championship also features’ Canada West’s Alberta Golden Bears and Saskatchewan Huskies as well as the AUS’ UNB Varsity Reds, StFX X-Men and Acadia Axemen.
For more coverage of McGill’s Queen’s Cup victory visit oua.ca.
McGILL REDMEN – OHL GRADUATES:
Nathan Chiarlitti (Sarnia Sting/Owen Sound Attack, 2008-13)
Michael Cramarossa (Belleville Bulls/Hamilton Bulldogs, 2012-17)
Gianluca Curcuruto (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds/Plymouth Whalers, 2010-15)
Jan Kaminsky (Belleville Bulls, 2009-11)
Alexandre Renaud (Sarnia Sting/Oshawa Generals, 2012-16)
14 TPH-trained players selected in 2018 OHL Priority Selection
Total Package Hockey is proud to congratulate the 14 TPH-trained players who were selected by Ontario Hockey League franchises in the league’s annual Priority Selection on April 7.
“Our TPH family is incredibly proud of these players for this outstanding recognition and opportunity,” said TPH owner Nathan Bowen. “The hard work is just beginning, but we know from their mindset and their character that they’re up to the challenge, and they will continue to make us proud at the next level – wherever that may be.”
Seven of the 14 players are products of TPH Center of Excellence programs; six in the Detroit CoE and one in the Nashville CoE.
“Our CoE students and alums are all tremendous student-athletes who have earned a day of celebration after hearing their names called by OHL programs,” said Brandon Naurato, TPH’s Director of Player Development and Hockey Director for the CoE. “They work every single day for chances like this; we couldn’t be happier for them.”
The other TPH-trained players took part in various other training programs, such as the 8 Week Program in the offseason, TPH-compiled OHL Cup teams, or TPH-compiled World Select Invite teams.
Total Package Hockey has helped 92 players reach the OHL; we are excited to add to that total in the 2018-19 season.
Congratulations to the following TPH-trained players who were selected in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection:
Antonio Stranges – Little Caesars 16U – London Knights – Detroit CoE/8 Week Program
Gerald Keane – Chicago Mission – London Knights – World Select Invite
Frank Jenkins – Honeybaked 15U – Hamilton Bulldogs – Detroit CoE/OHL Cup
Declan Carlile – Wellington Dukes – Oshawa Generals – 8 Week Program
Ryan Beck- Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 15U – Barrie Colts – Detroit CoE
Tanner Kelly – Little Caesars 15U – Windsor Spitfires – Detroit CoE
Tanner Latsch – Honeybaked 16U – Owen Sound Attack – World Select Invite
Jacob Badal – Honeybaked 16U – Flint Firebirds – 8 Week Program
Noah Marino – Chicago Fury 16U – Barrie Colts – OHL Cup
Joseph Tynan – Little Caesars 16U – Niagara IceDogs – Detroit CoE
Michael Bishop – Milwaukee Admirals 15U – Owen Sound Attack – OHL Cup
Aidan Flynn – TPH Thunder 16U – Erie Otters – Nashville CoE/TPH Thunder/World Select Invite
Nick Sova – Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 15U – Hamilton Bulldogs – Detroit CoE
Matthew Sredl – Honeybaked 16U – Barrie Colts – Southeast AAA Spring Prospects
Kaliyev, McGroarty win OHL championship with Hamilton
The Hamilton Bulldogs are Ontario Hockey League champions, which means there are congratulations in order.
Total Package Hockey is proud to honor two members of the Bulldogs franchise on the team’s OHL championship, which was secured with a Game 6 victory Sunday evening.
Congratulations to Arthur Kaliyev, a TPH Center of Excellence alum and Bulldogs forward, and Jimmy McGroarty, CoE player development coach and Bulldogs U.S. scout.
Kaliyev, a rookie with the Bulldogs, recorded 11 points in 21 OHL playoff games during Hamilton’s run to the league championship. In the regular season, he posted 48 points in 68 games and was named to the OHL All-Rookie Team in the process.
The Bulldogs now advance to the 2018 Memorial Cup – Canadian junior hockey’s most prestigious tournament – in Regina, Saskatchewan. The tournament takes place from May 18-27.
TPH’s Matt Larke named Flint Firebirds’ skill development coach
Total Package Hockey is proud to congratulate Matt Larke on his new position as skill development coach for the Ontario Hockey League’s Flint Firebirds.
Larke, a player development coach and mentor at the Center of Excellence in Detroit, played eight seasons of professional hockey before joining the TPH team. Along with his role in the Center of Excellence, Larke also coaches in the TPH Michigan Hockey Advancement program, as well as the TPH team that annually attends the OHL Cup.
“We are incredibly proud of Matt and very excited for him,” said TPH director of player development Brandon Naurato. “He is a world-class instructor, and he’s going to do great things with Flint.”
Larke specializes in skating stride, edge work and mechanics, among other hockey skills.
“I want to thank the Flint Firebirds organization for trusting in me and giving me this opportunity,” Larke said. “I’m looking forward to working with the players and helping them each individually develop so that at the end of the day, the team’s having success on the ice.
“The Firebirds have a tremendous staff in Flint; I’m very much looking forward to learning from Ryan Oulahen and the rest of the coaching staff. A gold medal at the Gretzky Hlinka Cup speaks for itself – Oulahen is an elite head coach and I’m excited to learn and help in any way I can.”
The new position with the Firebirds will not impact Larke’s day-to-day operations with the TPH CoE; Larke will work with Flint players after school ends for both respective groups.
“I’m thankful of TPH and the great hockey minds I have learned from such as Brandon Naurato (Detroit Red Wings) and Jimmy McGroaty (Hamilton Bulldogs),” Larke said. “The way they think helps me put skating skills into situations that are relevant so the player feels the most comfortable in games. When they get into those situations they know all of their options and how to win each battle.”
ABOUT TPH: Founded in 2001, Total Package Hockey is a hockey service provider with the vision to become the world leader in positively impacting the lives of student-athletes through the game of hockey. TPH prides itself on operating at a standard that exceeds expectations of players, families, coaches, advisors and all other entities of the hockey world, one choice at a time. Our staff is committed to providing positive, energetic, hands-on instruction and mentorship, in an effort to develop each individual on and off the ice. If each individual develops as a player, athlete and person, he or she will be better prepared to advance to the highest levels of junior, collegiate and professional hockey, while learning the skills necessary for success in the ultimate game: the game of life.
For more information about TPH, click here
For more information about the TPH Center of Excellence, click here
TPH squad begins play at the OHL Cup
Total Package Hockey is proud to congratulate the players selected to represent TPH at the OHL Cup, and wish them luck as they begin competing in the prestigious annual tournament.
The TPH Hockey team is a collection of #TPHTrained players from across the country, coached by Francis Anzalone, Scott Nichol, Chris Lipsett and Greg Austin.
TPH is competing against the Halton Hurricanes to start the tournament; later today, they will play the Toronto Nationals.
On Thursday, they will compete against the North York Rangers, and their Friday foe is yet to be determined.
For more info on the tournament, click here.
Good luck to the players on the roster below as they compete against some of the world’s best: