Wisconsin Prep Hockey has been presenting their End of the Season awards over the past five seasons for the WiPH Boys’ Awards and seven seasons for the WiPH Girls’ Awards. We have named the awards after individuals that had a positive impact on Wisconsin hockey. It has been a way to tie our present to our hockey past.
We have presented the following awards:
Jinelle Siergiej Award – Girls’ Forward
Molly Engstrom Award – Girls’ Defense
Jessie Vetter Award – Girls’ Goaltender
Joe Pavelski Award – Boys’ Forward
Davis Drewiske Award – Boys’ Defense
Kirk Daubenspeck Award – Boys’ Goaltender
Adam Burish Award – Boys’ Unsung Hero
The last award mentioned, the Adam Burish Award, was the latest award Wisconsin Prep Hockey presented and the first presentation was done this past season (2016-17).
The 2017-2018 hockey season will feature Wisconsin Prep Hockey adding the Unsung Hero Award on the girls’ side. All of the awards have been named after players that have played for the Wisconsin Badgers and our latest award will be no exception.
The Girls’ Unsung Hero Award will be named for a player whose hometown was Black River Falls, WI. She started playing hockey at the age of 5. She skated with the Madison Capitols U-19 women’s team from 2002-05. She played for the UW Badger from 2005-09.
She finished with a +13 plus/minus rating her freshman year for the Badgers. As we fast forward to her junior year with Wisconsin, she led the Badgers with a plus/minus rating of +30 and tallied 9 assists, while appearing in all 41 games for the UW. She excelled by being Academic All-Big Ten and Academic All-WCHA. She capped her Badger career playing in all 41 games, while scoring 3 goals and 4 assists. She tied Alycia Matthews with the highest plus minus rating for a defenseman with a +39.
Paul Hickman, Director of Operations for Women’s Hockey at University of Wisconsin, provided the stats above and said this about her, “She was a walk-on who became a pretty good player and is an even better person”.
Our new award will be the Rachel Bible Award. Rachel (now known as Coach Rachel Kenyon) is still heavily involved in hockey and is the head coach Madison Capitols U16 Girls team.
In reaching out to Rachel, two things stood out to me. The first was her humility. I asked for her permission to name the award after her and she replied, “I would be honored” and in later correspondence “still can’t believe you’re naming an award after me”. The second was her answer to the question: “What does and Unsung Hero mean to you?”. Her response is below and I believe you can understand why she is an excellent choice to have her name on the award.
“To me the an "unsung hero award" goes to someone who's not always on the score sheet or recognized but contributes just as much to the victories as the girls who are. Everyone on the team has a role or job and everyone must do their job for the team to be successful. I didn't need to score goals, we had plenty of other girls to do that. My job was to not let the other team score, keep the puck moving up ice and get it to the girls who would put it in the back of the net. That's how you end with such a high +/- rating.”
I have added a little extra workload to the WIAA girls’ coaches next season as I will be requesting each of them to nominate one of their players and writing up a paper as to why they feel this player an unsung hero. Also, I hope that all the players realize their efforts don’t go unnoticed, even if their name isn’t in the scorebox. Their effort in practice and doing the dirty work of fighting for the puck along the boards and in the corner is noticed. Without these efforts, your team doesn’t succeed and is unable to reach their full potential. These are the players that are the Unsung Heroes.
Rachel Bible and Alycia Matthews
Rachel Bible, Jessie Vetter and Emily Kranz
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