Schell earns his stripes as up-and-coming official

.

Schell shocked - Mack Schell

JOHN MACNEIL

Independent editor

As a goaltender, Mack Schell has one of the best vantage points from which to watch a hockey game.

Even when he’s not between the pipes, though, Schell still has a unique perspective on the game.

He has just begun his fifth year as an official with the Stettler Minor Hockey Association.

Schell, 17, has been recognized as the winner of the Steven Wright Memorial Award for his time and dedication to Stettler minor hockey officiating during the 2010-11 season.

“I didn’t even know there was this award,” Schell said after formally receiving his plaque during a Western Hockey League pre-season game in Stettler last month. “I just went out and did my job, and I guess it was good enough to get the award.”

Schell, a Grade 12 student at William E. Hay Composite High School, tends goal with the midget AA Stettler Legion Blues. He was a first year bantam when he began officiating.

“I decided to try to get some income going, and then I just kind of got hooked on it,” said Schell, who lives in Big Valley.

“I’d like to keep my hockey career going, so reffing is a really good way of keeping my hockey going. I’d definitely like to continue reffing, because it’s becoming a good passion of mine.”

Schell likes to be close to the action.

“I guess I like bossing people around,” he said with a smile. “Yelling at the older guys, even though I know I’m not supposed to outside the rink.”

“Just kind of tell them to be quiet, and telling them the rules. It’s kind of fun telling them, and then they realize that you’re right. You get a sense of accomplishment in yourself.”

Schell was among 30 officials who attended a refereeing clinic this past weekend at the Stettler Recreation Centre. He was also the referee Saturday night for a bantam A preseason game between Stettler and Camrose.

In the first period, when Schell warned both teams that further scrums after the whistle would result in penalties, one of the Camrose coaches told his players to obey the referee, because “he has a quick whistle.”

Schell has heard such remarks on the ice and from the benches and the stands, but he tries to ignore most of the commentary.

“You definitely get a couple of beaks here and there, but you just have to shake it off and keep going,” he said. “I kind of hear it all, but there’s probably lots that I haven’t heard, because I just ignore them. It’s not a big deal.”

“Actually, the worst stuff I hear is just from the coaches, telling me how to do the job and stuff like that. That’s more aggravating than a kid my age telling me that I’m blind.”

“Coaches should be showing their team the way to play the game, but when they’re telling me how to do my job, I don’t like that. That’s kind of over the limit.”

Schell has called games at the midget A level, so he’s run into his contemporaries from hockey and school.

“It is really intimidating, being around guys that are older or as old as me, but then you get out there and you just kind of forget about it and you just do your job,” said Schell, about five-foot-eight and 145 pounds.

“With players, I’ll put up with more. I’ll give them more warnings. Coaches, they’re at an older age now that I can give them one warning, and that’s it. They’re older, so they should know better anyway.”

Referees always seem to be a target, even for the strangest reasons.

“I’m a goalie in hockey, so people do laugh at me a lot by the way I skate in reffing, because it’s more of a goalie’s skate than a player’s skate,” he said. “But, whatever.”

Schell might be skating his way toward a career in officiating.

“That would be really cool, if I could get to a high-enough level and I could just make a living of it, too,” he said.

Stettler Minor Hockey executive Fran Sharpe, who books ice times and assigns referees for the association, said Schell showed authority, sportsmanship and respect as an official.

“He handled it very well,” Sharpe said of Schell’s improvement during the past season.

Just Posted

Stettler Lightning defeats Coaldale Copperheads in nailbiter

Stettler scores in shootout, defeating Coaldale 3-2

Stettler Wildcats go entire season undefeated

Downs Drayton Valley Warriors 28 - 7 in last game of season

Producers losing money on every barrel sold

Price for Western Canadian Oilsands bitumen so low

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

Most Read