The Huron-Perth Lakers celebrated another successful season of Lakers hockey at our Annual Banquet held April 8th in Brussels. Highlights of the night included two guest speakers, the presentation on the John O'Keefe Award, and the unveiling of the new Lakers jersey design.
Steve Sabourin of CKNX Radio was the Masters of Ceremony again for the evening and in his light-hearted way he made sure the activities moved along smartly and in order. The evening began with a delicious BBQ beef on a bun meal that was enjoyed by all and capped off by two large cakes decorated with the Lakers logo.
After dinner, the guest speaker portion of the evening began. This year was a different approach as we were fortunate to have two people speaking on the OHL from two different perspectives: the player and the coach/GM.
|Brendan "Chili" Childerley, a Lakers alumnus who played this past season with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, reflected on his experience leading up to and including his first year in the "O". Brendan had played with the Lakers Minor Midgets the previous season and was selected 99th overall in the OHL Draft last year. For those players entering their OHL Draft year Brendan stressed the importance of staying focused on your team, not the draft rankings, and on maintaining an appropriate perspective (whether the player is drafted or not).
|Jason is the Head Coach and Assistant GM for the OHL's Guelph Storm and provided the view from the other side of the OHL Draft and OHL experience. Jason was able to reinforce Brendan's comments and stressed that the game of hockey is about fun (a fact well-known by the Lakers Minor Atom team as they answered Jason's question during his presentation as to why they play hockey with an enthusiastic "for fun!"). To reach the next level, players need to play their best - game in and game out (always "show up").
The Banquet also saw the unveiling of the new Lakers jersey design for next season. The Lakers colours remain as burgundy with a blue trim but the new custom design includes several new aspects not found on the previous jerseys such as the logo on the shoulders, small number on the front, and ALLIANCE Hockey logo at the base on the neckline (in the pictures below the player's name will replace the word "LAKERS" on the back).
The presentation of the annual John O'Keefe Memorial Award was also made at the Banquet. Julie McConnell was announced as this year's recipient. Julie has been on the Lakers Executive for 4 years and worked tirelessly in her volunteer efforts to organize such important Lakers events as the Orientation Day, Lakers Day, and the annual Banquets. For more information, read the website article by clicking here.
Lakers President Hugo Maaskant with award recipient Julie McConnell as she accepts the award from Mackinley O'Keefe
Next up, each of the Lakers teams from Minor Atom through Minor Midget were introduced and received their Lakers gift (a beautiful black blanket embroidered with the Lakers logo) and their souvenir organization yearbook. Special mention and congratulations goes to the Major Peewee team who received their awards as regular season East Division Champions.
After the conclusion of the evening's banquet, Lakers President Hugo Maaskant was interviewed for CKNX Radio. Click on the control below to hear Hugo's comments on the organization's continuing evolution:
The banquet marked the conclusion of the 2008-09 season and after a short break the try-outs for the 2009-10 season begin on April 13th.