FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – For the past month the CCHA office has been inundated with nominations for Heroes of Hockey Day from all over Michigan and Ohio. We have been overwhelmed with wonderful stories of people’s commitment to growing the game of hockey in their community. Selecting six Heroes of Hockey Day was a difficult task with so many deserving nominees, but the individuals you are about to meet are undoubtedly worthy of this honor.
Kathy Rentz (Newark, Ohio): Kathy Rentz is no stranger to being recognized for her commitment to youth hockey. She was recognized by the USA Hockey as a Volunteer of the Month for her work with the Newark Ice Hockey Association in developing the Scores for Schools program. The program has introduced over 600 area school kids to ice skating and hockey. The grants applied for and received by Rentz’s efforts have paid for school bus transportation to get kids to the arena during school hours. From this program, over 30 youngsters have signed up for hockey classes.
-Thanks to David Mead for the information
Jim Stearns (Oxford, Ohio): Jim Stearns has been involved in the Butler County Youth Hockey Association for over 25 years and has served as a coach to children as young as atoms all the way up to bantam. Stearns currently coaches a squirt house squad. He is also one of many people in the BCYHA involved in the Taylor Metcalf Fund and is the tournament director for the Taylor Metcalf Cup, named after a Butler County youth hockey player that was killed in an automobile accident in 1995. The Taylor Metcalf Fund helps support as many as a dozen children per year that are in need of financial assistance to play youth hockey. The Taylor Metcalf Cup is an annual Squirt and Pee Wee tournament held in March at Miami’s Goggin Ice Center. In addition to his work in youth hockey, Jim is a marketing professor at Miami University and a season-ticket holder for the Miami RedHawks.
Some statements on Jim Stearns
“(Jim) is gentle with the atoms and mites, helping them attain skating skills and a good starting knowledge of the game. He is equally effective with squirts and pee wees, holding them to high levels of sportsmanship and respect for adults, officials and opponents. He has nurtured hundreds and hundreds of young athletes and a significant number have gone on to achieve hockey success with teams in high school and college.”
“Coach Stearns knowledge of the game is unbelievable. His ability and willingness to teach is so important. Jim would answer any question from the players, parents with a smile on his face as he shows kindness on and off the ice. Jim is not only a great coach but a great role model.”
– Ben Banks
Michael Faulkiner (Yale, Mich.): Michael Faulkiner has been involved in the game of hockey since he was a child and even represented the United States in international play as a teenager. Originally from Troy, Mich., Michael has coached at various levels of youth hockey this past decade, including his most recent stint with a Bantam AA squad in Port Huron, as well as a stint with Mt. Pleasant High School while on a temporary job assignment as a professor of economics at Central Michgian University. Michael has even brought coaching home with him in the past, literally, holding skill development sessions with players of his in a barn he built to house a frozen pond on his property. Currently, Faulkiner is currently working on his doctoral dissertation for a Ph. D. in economics from Wayne State and has taught at both Wayne State and Oakland University this school year.
A statement on Michael Faulkiner
“Mike really deserves some recognition for giving back so much, realizing what he received as a youngster. His knowledge, caring and even financial support so every one could play, has truly been second to none.”
– Randy Hinkley
Michael Bergland (Iron Mountain, Mich.): Michael Bergland started coaching youth hockey as a teenager, and more than 20 years later he is still volunteering his time to help youngsters learn to play the game. Bergland serves as the ACE Program director for the Dickinson Amateur Hockey Associaton, helping train and educate coaches in the area. In addition, Bergland currently coaches a Pee Wee B team and is at the rink almost on almost a daily basis helping out wherever he can. A former goaltender himself, Bergland conducts a free goaltending clinic every week. The clinic sees 6-10 participants every week and has youngsters who are just starting as goaltenders, as well as high school goaltenders.
A statement on Michael Bergland
“(Bergland) gives each goalie one-on-one challenges and techniques to work on. He even encourages those who want to try to be goalies to come out! He is always on the look out for reasonable and safe equipment for us to purchase to suit our skaters and skating prospects…He is at our rink six of seven days a week helping with our children’s teams, mini-mites through pee-wee. He is a fair and respected advocate for our skaters and association, and steps in for other coaches when needed. Mike’s love of the game is contagious and he’s an asset to our family, community and association.”
Chris Roose (Ishpeming, Mich.): Chris Roose has been coaching youth hockey for six years and has been a board member for the Iron Range Hockey Association for over a year. In his time as a board member, Roose’s projects within youth hockey have included procuring a grant for the One Goal program, developing advertising for the area’s instructional mite program, and enlisting members of the Marquette Rangers, a nearby North American Hockey League Junior ‘A’ team, to help young mites in their first foray into hockey. Chris is currently involved in organizing a “Bring a Friend to Skate” event in his community as part of USA Hockey’s Hockey Weekend Across America.
A statement on Chris Roose
“The “Hero” this year in our association would be Chris Roose. In his efforts to grow the game in our local association, he has gone above and beyond with his efforts to grow hockey…Anyone in hockey knows that doing all that he does while holding a job, coaching and serving on the board is a big job. My hat is off to Chris Roose.”
– Scott Carter, President of the Iron Range Hockey Association
Eddie Powers (Bowling Green, Ohio): Powers grew up in Bowling Green and played in the Bowling Green Youth Hockey Association as a child. He played goaltender on the Bowling Green High School team and won a state championship. He moved on to be a member of the Bowling Green State University team that won a national championship in 1984. For the last 21 years, Powers has been an assistant on the Bowling Green High School squad and has helped guide them to four state championships and four runner-up finishes. He has been a Bowling Green Youth Hockey Association volunteer coach for many years and currently serves as the association’s coaching coordinator.
-Thanks to Mike Furnas of the Bowling Green Youth Hockey Association for the information