Tribute to Our Twenty Year Olds

TRIBUTE to the 2016/17 Graduating Bonnyville PONTIACS

Our graduating players have been a part of three of the best seasons in franchise history.

Recognized by scholarships… by the Alberta Junior Hockey League… by our organization… and by our community…the Bonnyville PONTIACS graduating players are incredible leaders – they all wear letters… they are respected… they are passionate about the game… and most importantly… they represent what a Bonnyville PONTIAC is as they are all outstanding human beings.

I want the returning players to know that our graduating players never took their time as a junior hockey player for granted. There are so many players around North America who wish they could be lucky enough to call themselves a “PONTIAC” because of the culture that these 6 players helped create.

Embrace the words of Steenn and Brinson PASICHNUK tonight (and so many of past players reflect) – ‘appreciate every practice, every game and every workout… the end of your junior career comes a lot sooner than you think.'

Love the game so much that you leave an amazing example to pass on to the next PONTIAC who witnesses your dedication,… your work ethic,… and your leadership,… and then that PONTIAC will continue our culture in the direction of success that has been established over the past three years with your graduating players.

That is what being a veteran and being a leader is all about. It is about teaching our younger players “how we do things around here and the way we do things around here.” It is understanding that “doing it right is an ALL the time thing.”

I want to congratulate our graduating players for being such great citizens to our community, and most of all, good people who I know will go on to become great men as husbands, as fathers and as contributing citizens in the community in which they will live.

You’ve been role models for our organization and mentors for our younger players and it has been a pleasure to watch you grow together as individuals and you are a group that I will remember for a long, long time.

You are a part of franchise record breaking seasons whose memories will carry with you for the rest of your lives …and you should be extremely proud of that accomplishment. You have helped change the mindset of this organization that “just being good, is no longer good enough.”

In the end, I hope you understand that winning and losing (like life) are a part of the journey but what matters most are the people: the loyal fans,… the generous sponsors,… your teammates that you battled so hard with,… the home support that you receive,… and of course the journey you participated in during your time as a Bonnyville PONTIAC.

I hope that you all experienced the importance of putting others’ needs before your own and I hope you will remember that the process is infinitely more important than the outcome. Use the lessons you have learned as a Bonnyville PONTIAC wisely and confidently.

Henry FORD said that “to give more to the world than the world gives back to you is the definition of being a true success.”

You have been a part of 5500 hours giving back to our community and I am hopeful that you have learned as a PONTIAC, that the most important things in life are directly related back to serving others…  by being a good person… and treating those around you the right way.

Now that you are alumni, I challenge you to pursue your future endeavors with the best of your God-given abilities and without compromise.

Our organization is so proud of what you have accomplished and even prouder of whom you have become. You are leaving our organization as men and your legacy will stay with our program for a very long time.

On behalf of the Bonnyville PONTIACS organization and our community, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for an incredible ride. You will be missed, and remember that “once a PONTIAC always a PONTIAC!” It has been a privilege and an honor to have you all a part our program.

Ladies and Gentlemen please stand and join me in recognizing our graduating players: Ryan SYMINGTON… Alden DUPUIS… Gen BRYSHUN… Ryan PICHE… Erik DONALD…Tyler PODGORENKO…