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Young Hockey Heroes to be honored at Reds 16th Annual Reunion
Providence, RI (6/24/2016): Student athlete “unsung heroes” will be recognized at the annual R.I. Reds Heritage Society's Annual Reunion, scheduled for Sunday, Aug 7 at Goddard State Park in Warwick. There they will take the stage with veteran hockey heroes of the old R. I. Reds hockey team of the AHL.
Commemorative plaques will be presented to the “Unsung Heroes” in both men’s and women’s schoolboy/girl hockey divisions to the outstanding forward, defenseman, and goalie. The honorees were selected from a list of nominees submitted by the Interscholastic League coaches and chosen by a selection committee comprising representatives of the coaches association, the officials association, and Rick Scherza, a member of the historical Reds’ historical organization.
In early 2011, the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society expanded its mission to include support of the state’s student athletes who participate in the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s high school high school hockey program. In past years the award recipients were honored between periods of the state championship game. This is the first year that the student will be honored at the organization's annual reunion.
In its deliberations the committee focused on those players who best demonstrate the concept of “student athlete.” As such, the committee was not looking for the all-stars or the super stars but rather to those individuals who are the good well-rounded teammates and contributors as demonstrated by:
- Team Play and Support
- School/Community Support
- Hardship and Obstacles Overcome
- Hockey Ability, and
- Other Intangible Qualities
In essence this different approach is based on love and dedication to the game of hockey while still recognizing the values that characterize that have to be balanced in order to be a student and an athlete. The awards are named after three of the Providence Reds all-time greats: Chuck Scherza, forward; Ferny Flaman, defenseman; and Gil Mayer, goalie.
Recognized for their “Unsung Hero” awards in the women’s division are Victoria Hartley, goalie, LaSalle Academy; Brittney Bidwell, forward, Cranston East/East Greenwich Co-Op; and Brynne Costa, defensive forward, East Providence. Men’s division honorees are: Zachary Librizzi, forward, Saint Raphael/PSW; David Gaulin, defense, Smithfield High School; and Colin Clegg, goalie, Barrington High School.
This year’s class of 2016:
Zachary Librizzi, Saint Raphael Academy/PSW, Chuck Scherza Award
Zach was a 4-year starter. Despite being diagnosed with type I juvenile diabetes has never let the illness define him. He serves as a mentor and volunteer counselor for youngsters who are newly diagnosed. Early this season Zach suffered a knee injury. He came back to complete the season and had eight goals and six assists down the playoff stretch.
David Gaulin, Smithfield High School, Ferny Flaman Award
David Gaulin is the total package. He is smart, athletic and motivated. He is generally recognized as the best defenseman in the state. David led all defensemen in scoring in the Division I Cimini Conference, the state’s highest league. Dave is the senior class president and is an honor student. He has suffered the traumatic loss of his sister and young cousin in a house fire, and has not let it deter him in his educational or athletic endeavors.
Colin Clegg, Barrington High School, Gil Mayer Award
According to his coach, this Barrington High School goal tender is the glue that held his team together. This soft-spoken captain has a reputation of leading by example and he has the respect of teammates and opponents as well. Colin knows when to give a supportive pat on the back as well as an encouraging nudge. He also was the Hobey Baker winner at Barrington. This year’s Gil Mayer Award winner comes from a distinguished hockey bloodline His cousin is a former Flaman Award winner and his grandfather, Buster, played at Burrillville High and later at the University of New Hampshire before graduating and later serving as General Manager of the R. I. Reds. Colin plans to follow his grandfather by enrolling at UNH next fall.
Brittney Bidwell, Cranston East/East Greenwich Co-op, Chuck Scherza Award
Brittney was somewhat of a late-comer to the sport of hockey. She started playing only three years ago as freshman. Not only did she learn her hockey lessons – she learned them well as is evidenced by the fact that she serves as the first line center. According to her coach, P.J. Bessette, Brittney has become the strongest player and the hardest worker on the team Brittney augments her hockey activities with a part time job and studies. She is an honor student who ranks 32nd in a class of more than 300. She is the only junior in this year, “Unsung Hero” class, and she projects being one of the top woman players in the state next season.
Victoria Hartley, LaSalle Academy, Gil Mayer Award
Victoria is the senior assistant captain of this year’s state championship team at LaSalle that was undefeated through the playoffs, and is a three-year varsity letter winner for the second straight season. Her record this year featured three shutouts and a goals-against average of less than 1.00. What makes it more remarkable is that Victoria never plated hockey before she tried out as a freshman in 2013. She gave up outstanding gymnastics and field hockey player careers to work on her hockey skills. She has taken up lacrosse as a spring sport and carries a rigorous academic schedule.
Brynne Costa, East Providence, Ferny Flaman Award
Seldom has the Rhode Island Reds Heritage Society had an individual who more completely epitomizes the concept of “student athlete” as a recipient of the Society’s “Unsung Hero Award.” Brynne Costa can certainly be characterized a woman for all seasons. She has been a four sport athlete and has earned varsity letters in cross country, track, lacrosse and hockey. All that plus working a part-time job and ranking third in her graduating class. Brynne has always tried to compete at the highest level and can hold her own as is illustrated by the fact that she is the captain and starter for the East Providence hockey team – the men’s hockey team. Brynne is a unanimous choice in the voting by the state’s coaches as a first team all division forward because of her strong offensive and defensive talents. She also received the High School Hobey Baker Award and has been recognized by the Hockey Hall of fame for her “. . . leadership, honor, and integrity.”
To help celebrate this original joining of young and older “Hockey Heroes,” you can reserve your spot by contacting Mal Goldenberg at 401-401-782-6623 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information call 401-270-0035 or e-mail UNH1959@aol.com.