Stanley Morning Bull is the 2014 recipient of the Clint Jordan Memorial Award.
Morning Bull received the award Wednesday during Fort Macleod Minor Hockey’s awards night at the Empress Theatre.
“He truly is a special player who is 100 per cent committed to his team,” Bantam Mavericks coach Kevin Provost said.
Fort Macleod Minor Hockey president Jason Austin said the award recognizes playing the game the right way, with zest and vigour, getting as much out of the game as they put into it, and being a good example for other players.
Morning Bull, Amy Craig of the Atom team and Colten Holtz of the Midget Mavericks were all nominated for the award by their coaches.
“We’re proud of every one of you,” Austin told the three nominees.
Provost has coached Morning Bull for the past two seasons and found him to be easy to work with and supportive of his teammates.
“His hard work both on and off the ice is one of a proven leader who goes out and leads by example,” Provost said.
Provost told the story of how after Morning Bull was made captain this year, he asked if another player could wear the “C” in a game to boost his spirits.
Provost said Morning Bull was dedicated to the team’s fitness program, leading by example.
“Every game he gives 110 per cent,” Provost said. “I never once heard him argue with any of his teammates. He is quite possibly the most talented player on our team.”
“One thing that sets him apart from his teammates is he always puts the team’s goals ahead of his own.”
Morning Bull led the Mavericks in scoring with 22 goals and a team-high 29 assists for 51 points in 18 regular season games. He had just 22 penalty minutes.
Morning Bull added seven goals and five assists for 12 points in five playoff games while picking up just eight penalty minutes.
“The biggest part of his game is the hundreds of goals he stopped by racing back to catch the opposing players,” Provost said.
The Midget Mavericks nominated their captain, Colten Holtz, for the Clint Jordan Award.
Trevor Curran and the other Midget coaches knew in mid February who their choice would be for the award.
After two particularly poor periods in a playoff game the coaches were heading to the dressing room to lay into their players about a lack of effort.
They stopped short when they heard their captain telling his teammates — in colourful language — that they had to do better.
Holtz’s speech worked as the Mavericks went on to win the Central Alberta Tier 5 Midget Hockey League championship.
“Our nominee has shown the dedication of a professional athlete, by attending every practice and using his personal time to better his fitness level at the gym,” Curran said. “This player’s teamwork shows mostly in the effort that is displayed in every game.”
Holtz scored 10 goals and assisted on 20 others for 30 points to go along with 56 penalty minutes in 24 regular season games.
Holtz added five assists and 16 penalty minutes in seven playoff games.
Curran said Holtz’s value to the team was measured in more than goals and assists.
Holtz was tireless on the forecheck, wearing opponents down and causing them to make mistakes out of fatigue.
Curran noted that Midget-level hockey brings players aged 15 to 18 years together into an arena, and arms them with sticks and blades for a battle fueled by hormones and attitude.
“One could compare it to the days of the gladiator in the Roman colosseum,” Curran said. “But unlike Roman times, hockey still has its gentlemen.”
“Our nominee knows the importance of agitating the opponent — maybe to the point of retaliation — only to show sportsmanship at the end of game, leaving those battles on the ice and appreciating a worthy competitor.”
The Atom Mavericks coaches selected second-year player Amy Craig as their nominee.
Minor Hockey president Jason Austin read the nomination submitted by the Atom coaches, who noted Amy displayed a passion for the game.
“Coaches have stressed all year about making those around you better by using your skills to build a better team,” Austin said. “Our nominee is simply put the largest example of a hard-working team player that we have.”
The coaches said Amy has improved over two years of Atom hockey, developing strong skating and passing skills.
Amy constantly sought out direction in her desire to become a better player and approval when things went well.
“The nine- and 10-year-old age is a delicate mix of pursuing personal goals and statistical goals that make it tough to focus on a team goal,” Austin said.
Amy had four goals and three assists for seven points in 18 regular season games, with no penalty minutes.
The coaches said Amy was ready to play with anyone on the team, regardless of their skill level or commitment to team play.
“Simply put, our team was better with her not only for the skills shown, but what she showed her team — teamwork, passion and a drive to make her team better.”