I had a chance to catch up with Doug Spooner recently. The forward, who appeared in seven games for the Reign last season after concluding his college career at the University of Waterloo, “has a lot to learn but he’s willing to be patient and wait for his opportunities,” according to coach Karl Taylor.
Here’s what Spooner had to say …
What made you want to come back?
The coaching staff, and all the staff from Justin Kemp (Vice President of Business Operations) on down, I thought the whole organization had the right idea, with everyone working hard and pulling together. Ontario, and the Inland Empire, isn’t a bad place to live. I liked how it was new, to be in Southern California.
Did you have any other options?
Yes and no. As soon as Karl said this would be an opportunity, I stopped looking and committed. I asked questions of our coaching staff in Waterloo, but I thought Ontario was the best option for me.
You didn’t get too much playing time here last season; did that affect your decision at all?
Coming into the end of the season with a first-place team, it’s tough to crack the lineup. But I felt that in my time there, the guys got a good opportunity to learn who I was as a person and a hockey player.
Did you feel like you had some unfinished business following the first-round loss to Stockton?
I was probably the only guy to have two first-round playoff exits this year (against Stockton and with the University of Waterloo). Any time that happens, you feel you underachieved.
On his summer activities:
I’m in Waterloo, just wrapping up my school stuff, then moving down south. I’ll be all wrapped up on August 25, getting my master’s in political science. I’m in the gym in the morning, running in the morning, spend a little time at school in the day, get a little yoga in in the afternoon, then on the ice in the evening.
I’ve been on the Kings’ workout program (a paper outline of the team’s recommended workouts). A couple hockey schools on the side.
Wait a minute, yoga?
It’s Bikram yoga. The thicker one. It’s been great for my core strength, my lower back, and the flexibility that wasn’t an issue for me before. But the season in Ontario is going to be longer than the season in Waterloo. I started it in California. A buddy of mine runs a personal fitness company around here; he mentioned he was going and I jumped on with him one day and I really liked it. I’m about 6 weeks in now. I’m taking 25 classes, 90 minutes each.