This is my final post on the Rivermen blog as I get set to begin a new chapter with the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals.
This is certainly a bittersweet time for me. I have nothing but great things to say about all the Rivermen players and staff I’ve had the privilege to work with over the past year. For my first full season in the BCHL I could not have asked for a better team to be with. The Riv had an extraordinary season, winning a franchise first division title as well as the Ron Boileau Memorial Trophy as the top team in the regular season. It’s always fun to be a part of history but the individuals that made that happen are who made the past season so enjoyable.
A big thank you goes out to the Henderson family. Roy and John define owners who care. They want a good product on the ice but more importantly they want only the best for their players and staff. They made me feel welcome from day one and I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity to work with the Rivermen. Taylor continues to do an excellent job running the business side of the team ensuring the Riv are run at the highest level of professionalism. He is a good friend and I will miss having an adjacent office space and all our good times together. Bobby and the coaching staff have not only been great from a media perspective but they are awesome people. Between Bobby, Kurt, and Jon any player that dons a Rivermen jersey gets the opportunity to be coached and mentored by an amazing group of talented coaches. Their level of dedication is amazing and the fact that last year’s roster had an incredible 15 NCAA scholarship commitments speaks for itself. They genuinely care about growing young men as hockey players and people.
The staff member I probably spent the most time with is Brayden “too good” Tonogai. He really is the best and I don’t think his impact on the Rivermen will be honestly known until he has moved on. Countless hours spent at the rink and at the hospital, doctor’s visits, equipment fixes, itinerary creation, you name it and he’s done it. An Athletic Therpaist extraordinaire, his combination of knowledge, skill, and dedication is second to none, this team is beyond lucky to have him. And not a bad guy either.
I also must of course thank all the players I’ve worked with over the past year in Langley and their parents and families. An outstanding mix of on-ice talent and personality, what a fun group to work with, I’m definitely glad I get to continue to follow their junior careers. For those that have graduated on, I’ll continue to follow their hockey pursuits as I know they will accomplish great things on the ice and in life.
A thanks as well of course for all my colleagues at the Langley Events Centre. A wonderful group of talented individuals that share my passion for sports.
And of course a thank you to all the Rivermen volunteers and fans that I got the chance to interact with. There are countless people that help this team in a number of capacities and I’m always amazed at their dedication and support.
I was only with the Rivermen for 11 months but what a memorable year it has been. It’s a special organization and a team that will continue to accomplish great things. Can’t wait to see you in Duncan on December 7th!