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By Brad Brown
There was truly very little that Montmartre’s Adam Herold didn’t accomplish in his short hockey career.
Captain of the Weyburn Youngfellow Wings peewee AA team in 2013-14.
The only first-year bantam to crack the Balgonie Prairie Storm’s AA team in 2014-15.
Top defenceman at the Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament in 2016.
Drafted in the second round by the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders later that year.
Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League and western regional champion with the Regina Pat Canadians in 2016-17.
Captain, Mac’s Tournament champion and first-team league all-star with the Pat C’s in 2017-18.
But it was the Chuck Herriot Scholarship that Herold received at the end of this past SMAAAHL season that Regina head coach Darrin McKechnie said truly defined what Herold was all about. That award is voted on by the league’s coaches and team governors, and presented annually to a player who exemplifies sportsmanship, commitment, leadership and dedication to the game both on and off the ice.
Herold, who would have turned 17 today, was among 15 individuals killed Friday afternoon when the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus collided with a semi en route to Nipawin for Game 5 of their Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League semifinal series against the Hawks.
“Adam just was a great example of what young hockey players should aspire to be,” McKechnie told The Forum through tears on Saturday afternoon. “He would be the type of person that you want your sons to turn out like and that you would want your daughters to bring home.”
And — according to another of his former coaches — the type of person, as a result of those qualities, who was going to succeed in whatever he decided to pursue.“I was talking to an NHL scout on Tuesday night at the P.A.-Moose Jaw game,” said Mike Dumelie, a Prince Albert Raiders scout who also coached Herold for his two years with the Prairie Storm. “
And talking to him about Adam I just mentioned … how even though he’s only 16 years old, this kid has the capacity to be an NHL captain. He’s that kind of kid.”
Dumelie spoke to The Forum after spending most of Saturday in Moose Jaw counselling and comforting several of his former players who were looking to take the next step toward the midget AAA ranks with an impressive showing at the Moose Jaw Generals’ spring camp.
“They’re dealing with the fact that they can’t forget what’s gone on, and at the same time they have to try and make this hockey team,” said Dumelie. “And the point I made was ‘What do you think Adam would want you to do?’ A lot of kids at that age aren’t mature enough to get that someone else succeeding doesn’t mean that you’re a failure, but Adam understood that from the first time I met him and I tried to convey that as well.”
Montmartre mayor Rob Chittenden learned of the Broncos’ crash while attending the Broomball Canada juvenile national championships in Owen Sound, Ont. with his daughter Jayd — a member of the Odessa Flames. Chittenden noted that, as his wife Neysa and Herold’s mom Raelene are first cousins, their respective families had spent “lots” of time together over the years — in particular on snowmobile rides during the winter months.
“We know the family really well and Adam was just a super nice kid. It’s unbelievable,” he said. “Lots of 16-year-olds, they can be cocky and whatnot. Adam was not like that at all. He was a super kid, with the best attitude I’ve ever seen. You can talk to all of his previous coaches from minor hockey on, including Darren Sebastian who coached him all through minor hockey in Montmartre, and they’ll all tell you he was just a good kid and very coachable. I’ve talked to some family members back home already and everybody’s just devastated.”
A choked-up Dumelie concurred.
“Adam was going to be extremely successful in everything he did, not because of his hockey skill but just because of the way he was raised, and the way he carried himself and cared so much for others,” he said. “I care greatly for all of the kids that I coach but there are always a few that are a little, extra special I guess, and Adam was definitely one of them. I’m going to miss him immensely.”
[GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! Yorkton’s Larry Hilworth put the scheduled Canada 150 fireworks on notice with this run, before a record crowd at the third annual Thunder on the Prairies truck and tractor pulls, which were held July 6-7 in Odessa. Forum photo by Carly Schatz, originally published on July 13, 2017.]
OK, OK, we get it. After weathering a deluge of “Where’s my paper??” comments (actual number: One) toward the end of 2017, it became apparent that waiting a couple weeks through our annual Christmas closure is to the local adult population what waiting for Santa is to children under the age of 6. (Who’s kidding who, they’ve all Googled it – or discovered the Toys R Us logo on their baby brother’s Santa present – by the time they hit Grade 1 haven’t they?)
I don’t trust Facebook as far as I can throw it … uphill … in the middle of a blizzard … wearing my father’s pajamas. (What I’m trying to say is that I tried uploading this story there, and the resolution sucked, so I’m going to try linking to it here instead. I’m also aware that it’s Wednesday not Thursday today, but since the paper doesn’t technically arrive in your mailbox until tomorrow … look, just roll with me here, OK?)
There’s an internationally-renowned restaurant in Vibank, run by some great people, that just celebrated 10 years in business a couple weeks ago. This is their story, and if you’d like to eat there sometime, they’re free to seat you most any time after the start of April 2018. (They are booked full months in advance, you see.) ¡Buen provecho!
Sorry, the old
Taylor Brad can’t come to the phone right now …
Why? Oh. Because that phone number is dead.
Yes, the Forum’s phone number has changed. We can now be reached by call or text at (306) 529-5025. Please update your contacts accordingly & I’ll look forward to chatting with you again very soon!
By popular demand, re-posting this blow-by-blow recap of two of the more traumatic moments in my life … this one’s for you, Tyrel.
column by Brad Brown originally appeared in the June 8, 2017, edition of The Forum
I was originally going to file this column under “Confession Time.”
After watching the movie Top Gun for the first time on Saturday, I changed course, knowing full well that all along there was no shame to be felt in having not seen it at any time in the first 30 years since its release.
A revamped, refreshed, and refocused forumnews.ca. Looking forward to getting re-acquainted. See you soon!