Hegberg takes over as minor hockey president

Jason Hegberg’s hockey journey has now come full circle.

Jason Hegberg’s hockey journey has now come full circle.

One of the most decorated graduates of the Stettler Minor Hockey Association is the organization’s new president.

After one year on the minor hockey board as the secretary, Hegberg was promoted to president at the association’s annual meeting. He succeeds Jason Bridge, who remains on the executive as past-president.

Hegberg, 33, also coached the Stettler atom AA team this past season, as one of Mike Kuefl er’s assistants.

“I don’t have kids in hockey, but that was my passion growing up, so I don’t have a problem helping out wherever I can,” said Hegberg, a car salesman in his hometown.

He runs the popular East Central Hockey School, which made its debut in Stettler last summer and returns this August with a full complement of participants.

Hegberg played minor hockey in Stettler until he moved to Red Deer for bantam AAA and midget AAA. He went on to play four years each with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League and the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds.

The former Lethbridge captain also played a year of pro with the Victoria (B.C.) Salmon Kings.

He stepped into the coaching ranks with his brother Rob and they coached the junior A Drumheller Dragons for four seasons.

Hegberg has seen enough elite hockey to believe that Stettler can produce more players for higher levels.

He envisions a time when local residents can watch Hockey Night In Canada and hear a player credit Stettler minor hockey for providing the foundation for an NHL career.

Five players from the Stettler and Big Valley area played midget AAA or minor midget AAA in Red Deer this past season, and all of them were standouts.

“They did very well, (but) I don’t think we see that often enough,” Hegberg said.

“I think, with a community of this size, we should be seeing more (reaching higher levels). And I’m not saying it’s only for the elite athletes, but we should be seeing more kids coming out of our community and going to play elsewhere.”

Hegberg is confident the structure is already in place to nurture the development of players — and people — in Stettler’s minor hockey system.

“I think we’ve got a great community,” he said. “I think we’ve got a great facility.

“The only thing I really want to make sure — not that it hasn’t been done (in the past) — is that we focus on the development of kids right from the first time they step on the ice. I think we can all do a better job of that. That’s what I’m going to try to get our board on board with, and I think everyone wants to see that happen.”

Hegberg also wants discipline *and respect instilled in Stettler minor hockey players.

“Life skills need to be a lot better,” he said. “We want to teach these kids to be good people, first and foremost. The hockey taught is secondary.

“That’s the way we run our hockey school.”

REGISTRATION NEXT WEEK: Stettler minor hockey registration is scheduled for Tuesday, June 19, and Wednesday, June 20, from 5 to 8 p.m. each night at the Stettler Recreation Centre. A $50 late fee is charged after June 20.

“We generally get most people registered right away,” Hegberg said. “It just gives us a head-start to see what numbers we have so we can get things rolling. I know it’s mid-summer, but people need to realize that a lot of things need to be done in order for kids to play hockey.

“There’s a lot of paperwork. You can start seeing how many teams you’re going to have, and who’s going to be your coaches, or projected coaches.”

More than 200 players are expected to register with the Stettler Minor Hockey Association, which iced 22 teams last winter.

NEW BOARD MEMBERS: The minor hockey board has added three new executive members: Neil McCallum, the vice-president of registration; David Zondag, the vice-president of operations; and Katie Bainbridge, the secretary.

Just Posted

Castor, Forestburg, coal workers get $257,644 to transition to low-carbon economy

Two transition centres will serve seven communities in the Battler River Region

Stettler Junior B Lightning put away another win

Feeling confident heading into weekend games

Wildcats beat Ardrossan Bisons 31-14 in provincial quarterfinals

Wildcats are in the medal with Saturday’s win

Stettler’s Heartland Bowl hosts Zone 4 Alberta 55 plus Challenge Cup

Audrey Hauck and Helen Smith from Stettler bowl 112 pins over their average

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Police probe several allegations of sex assault at Toronto school

Police say they have learned of other incidents of alleged assault and sexual assault

VIDEO: The definition of a kilogram has officially changed

50-plus countries voted to a ground-breaking overhaul to the international system of measurements

Missing-persons list tops 600 in fire-stricken California

Disaster escalates as officials raised the death toll to 63

Semi tractor hauling lumber rolls near Ponoka

Icy roads continue to wreak havoc on the the QE2

Most Read