The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League has named Princeton Posse assistant captain Scott Burgess as the second recipient of the Jaxon Joseph Memorial Scholarship.
Joseph was one of 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos killed in a tragic bus crash on April 6, 2018. He started his junior hockey career in the KIJHL with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in 2015 before moving on to play Junior A in the B.C. Hockey League and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
Joseph’s goal was to play college hockey, and the $2500 scholarship named in his honour is intended for an individual who shares his athletic and academic aspirations while having displayed a commitment to community involvement.
“It’s something that you want to win,” said Burgess. “You try to put out the best version of yourself for this application. To be the one person that gets selected feels pretty special.”
As Burgess started learning more about Joseph and did research on the former Nitehawk, and the impact he made, especially as a community member, it inspired him as he put together his application.
Posse Head Coach & Assistant GM Mark Readman says Burgess is a perfect example of a player that you want to emulate or pick up good qualities and habits.
“He’s an extremely responsible, driven, loyal, and passionate hockey player where our program wants success not only for the team, but individually,” said Readman. “It’s not just on the ice, but off the ice as well. The way he carries himself on a daily basis, the maturity that he has are in spades.”
Readman praised how Burgess manages a junior hockey schedule, the ups and downs of a physical grind that comes with it, along with his academic responsibilities. He doesn’t believe he’s ever had a player who has been as responsible as Burgess, who earned a 4.0 GPA in high school and 3.9 in post-secondary as he has been taking classes to earn a Bachelor of Science through the University of Calgary.
Burgess has always been motivated to do well in school and likes to problem solve. He excels in Math and Science.
“I loved going to school and had friends with similar mindsets who pushed me,” says Burgess. “We started having little competitions and I always wanted to be the best. That competitive nature, but also enjoying what I did helped push me a lot.”
That mindset ramped up at the U of C, where he needed to adopt really good study habits and be a good student.
Being involved and helping in the community is also important to Burgess. Readman says that the third-year defenceman is a “lead by example kind of guy.” He’s helped with the Princeton Harvest Festival in the Fall and the Remembrance Day ceremony assisting veterans and members of the Royal Canadian Legion.
“He steps up without needing to be asked and never looks for any recognition,” said Readman.
However, making an impact with minor hockey players is the big one for Burgess. That comes from the memories he has of being a six to eight-year-old growing up in Calgary and being around older players who would skate with the kids he was with.
“That was always the coolest feeling,” he says. “I liked seeing those guys that were older, bigger and faster, and watching them play. It was always just mind-blowing. It made me want to be like that guy that can skate really fast and is really big. Those were the guys that you looked up to and to be in a position where I can be that player that kids are looking up to, that was always a dream for me. To give back and see them grow is an incredible feeling.”
Readman says Burgess never misses a practice and is out twice a week. He runs practices himself when others involved aren’t able to.
“He’s almost a full-time assistant coach,” said Readman. “In every capacity Scott is the true community player. Scotty has my respect.”