SBN: Looking through some of the submissions on the website, there were a lot of variations. Some of them were from community leaders and some of them were from kids.
Authentic Youth Kenneth Acker Jersey So which is better to hear from? I imagine both are inspiring in their own way.
Roenick: Well, it can come from either. The first two winners came from parents or grandparents of youth players that made submissions to explain why this is so important to their family and their kids. I would have to think it¡¯s really inspirational to get a letter from a kid, from a child who¡¯s involved in youth hockey programs, who skate in their local arena. That could go a long way.
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But it also helps to push your community to get involved. It¡¯s not just about one person, or one story. We want to show the passion that the people and communities have around hockey and around these youth programs. It¡¯s all about everybody pitching in. It¡¯s a really cool aspect of the competition that brings people together.
SBN: When you visit these communities, does it remind you of how you started playing the sport?
Roenick: Oh, absolutely. We went to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the first year. Johnstown is a small, industrial town. Obviously, [there are] a lot of blue-collar workers that work from paycheck to paycheck.
And to watch the transformation of their local arena, with all the money that was put in, the pride that they have and to see the kids¡¯ faces when the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning came running through their town … signing autographs and playing in the arena that they skate at.
Chiefs wide receiver Frankie Hammond, who is technically in his first season even though he spent time on their practice squad last year, is listed as having caught the ball on the 0-yard line. Yes, folks, he caught a punt while standing on the damn goal line. He wasn’t just standing there the whole time, but at some point when you are drifting back you have to take an account of where you are on the football field.