John wins Pethick Memorial award; son Ryan named top OMHA player in SMMHA
By Pat Payton
It was definitely a night to remember for John and Jessica Hodkinson and their family last Tuesday night at the Royal Canadian Legion.
Ryan Hodkinson received the Bob Searles Award for most outstanding OMHA player in the St. Marys Minor Hockey Association. Making the presentation was SMMHA president Kristene McCurdy.
Hodkinson, a talented centreman, led the Firefighter Peewees to the OMHA ‘BB’ championship. The team captain continually scored timely goals for the Firefighters, and finished the 2018-19 season with over 80 goals and about 150 points. Hodkinson, and linemates Finn Stewart and Peyton Lobb, propelled the Peewees’ offensive attack all season long.
Other nominees for the Searles award were: Blake Boreham (Cement Major Midgets), Nathan Reay (Legion Minor Midgets), Ethan Froggett (ANAF ‘BB’ Bantams), Zack Rooney (Frayne Cabinets A-E Bantams), Bennett Wynen (Bantam Local League), Isaac Zurbrigg (Peewee Local League 1) and Nathan Martens (Peewee Local League 2).
Volunteers countless hours
Just moments later, Hodkinson’s father John went to the front of the hall to accept the prestigious Pethick Memorial Award. It recognizes outstanding contribution and dedication to the SMMHA. The association couldn’t have given the award to a more deserving winner. Hodkinson spends countless hours at the PRC each season, quietly working behind the scenes. He’s a true minor hockey volunteer who will begin his fifth season as Shamrock League rep. for the association in the fall.
Wayne Pethick made the presentation of behalf of the Pethick and Monteith families.
Over the past decade, Hodkinson has been a trainer and manager for several SMMHA teams, and a Local League coach. He was manager of two teams this past season.
“I was quite surprised (to win the award),” Hodkinson said modestly. “There are a lot of people who do a lot of things for the association. Everybody working together makes it happen. I’m just one of the people who helps make it happen.”
John and Jessica Hodkinson had all three of their children playing in minor hockey this season.
Smith wins Ferris coaching award
The other big volunteer award went to Dwain Smith, a very deserving winner of the Ferris Stewart Memorial Award. It recognizes a coach for their excellence and dedication to the players of the SMMHA.
Smith guided the Firefighter Peewees to the OMHA final the last two seasons. After being provincial finalists in the spring of 2018, the team goal was to win it all in 2019. And Smith and his Firefighters did just that, knocking off Lindsay Muskies in four games in this year’s championship final.
Smith is a knowledgeable coach who always seems to have a knack for figuring out how to beat his opponents. He and his staff are returning to coach the Peewee BBs again next season.
Due to another commitment, Smith was unable to attend last Tuesday’s awards banquet. When contacted on Wednesday, Smith was quick to praise his entire Peewee coaching staff.
“I was honoured to be nominated for the award because the recipients in the past have been some great coaches,” Smith said. “It’s a pretty good group of people to be associated with.
“I was nominated for this award, but it’s really a team award. I’m just one person on a coaching staff. We have Steve Shaw, Rob McKnight, Marty Thomson and Sam Thomson, I feel those guys have won the award with me. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Smith has coached in the St. Marys minor system for the past 13 years. Before taking the reins of the Firefighters, he coached the Cement Midgets for four seasons. “I’ve had some good mentors over the years, guys like Chris Thompson, Wayne Jones and Greg Smale.
“And I’m pretty proud of my Peewee boys who won major awards last night,” Smith added.
Crisp award goes to Chessell
Another member of the Firefighter Peewees took home the Terry Crisp Award for the most colourful and hardest-working OMHA player in the association. Firefighters’ winger Brock Chessell is the 2018-19 recipient.
The trophy presentation was made by family member Dan Schiedel. Schiedel pointed out that Chessell is a recent cancer survivor. “He’s battled through a lot,” Schiedel said in admiration.
Other nominees for the Crisp award were: Julien Boyer (Cement Major Midgets), Noah McLeod (Legion Minor Midgets), Mason Boonstra (ANAF ‘BB’ Bantams), Ian Boyd (Frayne Cabinets A-E Bantams), Jack Sterkenburg (Bantam Local League), Colton Hawkins (Peewee Local League 1) and Nolan Keene (Peewee Local League 2).
Bantam Local League player Mike Boonstra picked up the Mike Mattiussi Award for most sportsmanlike OMHA player, on and off the ice. Mattiussi’s grandson Dante Audet made the trophy presentation.
Other nominees for the Mattiussi award were: George Hensel (Cement Major Midgets), Scott McClelland (Legion Minor Midgets), Ben Richardson (ANAF ‘BB’ Bantams), RJ Masse (Frayne Cabinets A-E Bantams), Peyton Lobb (Firefighter ‘BB’ Peewees), Connor Mikita (Peewee Local League 1) and Wilem DeWit (Peewee Local League 2).
The final OMHA winner was Nicolas Kiestra, of the ANAF ‘BB’ Bantams. Kiestra, who kept his team in games all season long, received the Donald K. Mossip Memorial Award for outstanding OMHA goaltender in the SMMHA. Making the trophy presentation was Nelda Oliver, on behalf of her late husband.
Other nominees for the Mossip award were: Zack Hall (Cement Major Midgets), Aaron Waugh (Legion Minor Midgets), Kiefer MacNeil (Frayne Cabinets A-E Bantams), Ezra Bender (Bantam Local League), Carter Froggett and Josh Ballantyne (Firefighter ‘BB’ Peewees), and Austin Brown (Peewee Local League 2).