As the Capitals youth roller hockey team took to the practice rink on a recent afternoon, their coaches put them through their paces, patiently encouraging them and keeping them in line without shouting.
But these are no ordinary parent team leaders.
The Capitals' coaches are two 15-year-old Calabasas High School freshmen, the youngest in the Tri-Valley Roller Hockey League at Juan Bautista de Anza Park.
Ian Scott and Joe Theule, themselves, are experienced roller hockey players. Ian, a Calabasas resident, and Joe, of Woodland Hills, began coaching in January after they approached league director Ned Collins about taking over a team.
Their 5- to 9-year-old players seem to enjoy being taught by the teens.
"Grown-ups tend to, like, boss you around more," said 7-year-old Tim Barut.
Collins said older teens have served as assistant coaches before, but he made an exception to his rule that coaches had to be 16 or older when he saw that the boys were committed to the idea of coaching--all while still playing on a league team of their own.