Wellesley’s players, coaches and staff look back on the season as Midwestern Junior C playoffs get underwayOn the eve of the playoffs, the Wellesley Applejacks took an evening to celebrate the 2013-14 season, holding their annual awards banquet at Kennedy’s Restaurant in St. Agatha on February 6.
While trophies were handed out to distinguished members of the Junior C team, staff took to praising the roster.
“I’m quite a lucky fellow: I get to hang around with the team, and we just have such a riot together,” said Rick Grebinski, communications director for the team. “You see them out on the ice; I see them behind the scenes and at the different outings we go to, and I’ll tell you, they keep me young. Just a great group of guys.”
Head coach Rob Way thanked staff and volunteers, and added, “We have a lot of players that could win these awards. When the coaches sat down, for every award we had three or four names for every category, so we’re very fortunate to have such a great team of players.”
Cody Tapsell took home the Martin Novack Trophy for Unsung Player, chosen by head trainer Mark Reitzel. The trophy was named for a 1995-1997 Applejack who was killed in a motorcycle accident, and has been presented by Reitzel since 1997.
Parker Wood won the John Igley Memorial Award for Most Valuable Defenseman, with assistant coach Bill Grebinski saying, “I remember him third practice in, a little bit wet behind the years, who skated up to me and said, ‘Be patient, I’ll get it. I don’t understand it, but I’ll get it.’ And he got it good.” Wood, who was previously named the OHA Midwestern Junior C Rookie of the Year, was also cited as the Jacks’ Rookie of the Year.
With 45 goals (more than anyone else in Ontario Junior C this season), Alex Stoody earned the Total Points Award. Way joked that despite this impressive statistic, Stoody’s 11 total assists made it a tough decision.
Team Captain Brett MacDonald was named Most Valuable Player, who Rob Way said “killed penalties, played power plays, and I think everybody would agree [is] a great leader in the dressing room.”
Way also presented the Coach’s Award to forward Luke Rose. “He takes every goal personally as if it’s his own fault, and I think everybody would agree he’s a team player.”
Others honoured included Reid Denstedt for Most Valuable Local Player; Sean McEwan, who won the Don Greene Award for Most Sportsmanlike; Rick Grebinski, who won the Top Jacks Award for volunteerism; Shayne Grebinski, also cited for volunteerism; and Cal Jeffries for Most Improved. “We looked at: Who’s the player that took on a ton of responsibility as the year went on?” said Way of Jeffries. “This player started out as a rookie, but by the end he’s killing penalties and taking key face-offs.”
The Jacks ended their season in fifth place in their league with a record of 19-17-3.