WEST KELOWNA- The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League has selected 14 student athletes who competed during the 2019/20 season to receive league bursaries, including three from the Neil Murdoch Division. Each bursary is valued at $500 and will be applied towards post-secondary studies.
The recipients were chosen from a large field of applicants based on academic achievement, sportsmanship, hockey participation and/or quality of contribution as well as community participation and service.
Keaghan Holub – Castlegar Rebels/Grand Forks Border Bruins
Holub says each year of his KIJHL career had learning lessons while making memories.
“I made amazing friends on each team I played for and extended my family with awesome billets,” says Holub. “It was some of the best hockey I have played so far and I will always look back fondly on my junior hockey career.”
Holub, a graduate of Eckville Senior High, credits his time in the KIJHL for helping him develop and mature. Playing junior hockey has given him the skills to reach the next level and play for Maryville University in St. Louis. While there, Holub plans to study sports business management as he aspires to pursue a career in professional sports, especially the NHL.
While playing in Osoyoos, Grand Forks and Castlegar, Holub gave back to those respective communities.
In Osoyoos, he handed out smile cookies at Tim Hortons, visited schools and helped community members. In Grand Forks, he assisted an arborist to remove trees after the flooding, shoveled driveways for the elderly, helped the Special Olympics floor hockey team, visited the elementary school and helped with minor hockey. In Castlegar, Holub helped out with a skating program, at an elementary school with science experiments and reading programs and helped out with the Special Olympics floor hockey team.
Morgan Peace – Beaver Valley Nitehawks
The Grand Prairie native says his three seasons with the Nitehawks were the best of his life.
Surrounded by great teammates, coaches and an amazing community, in his rookie season, he was shown the way by many veterans what it was like to be a Nitehawk and the values they treasured.
“My last year was definitely one to remember as we finished first in our division and were one of the closest groups of teammates I had ever been a part of,” says Peace. “Sadly our year was cut short due to the pandemic. I loved the hockey and competing every night, but one of my favourite things about Beaver Valley was how we were welcomed into the community and how involved the community is with the team.”
Peace, a graduate of Charles Spencer High School, says he developed significantly as a player, but developed more as a person.
“I learned how to work hard, be dedicated and how to work better with a team,” he says. “I had great coaches who helped me develop my skill, my hockey sense and overall ability as a hockey player.”
The next chapter for Peace has him starting an apprenticeship to become a power line technician. He hopes one day to start his own company.
Angus Amadio – Beaver Valley Nitehawks
The Calgary product had the most enjoyable time in his hockey career the last three seasons with the Nitehawks.
“Their team culture and family atmosphere makes it a great place to develop both as a person and a player. I have made friendships with teammates, coaches and fans that will last a lifetime,” says Amadio, a graduate of St. Francis High School, who plans to attend the University of Calgary and study geology.
Amadio also says his billets were amazing and is very grateful to be able to be a part of their families and fortunate to have another home there. Being part of the Nitehawks allowed him to grow as a person. He was initially scored to leave home to head on the adventure he went on.
Amadio loved the intensity and structure of the practises, saying they allowed him to advance his skills and work his way up the lineup.
“The coaching staff always pushed us to be the best players we could be and with all the different coaches you could learn a new thing every practise,” he says. “I think the Breakfast club program also really helped with that as they were just morning ice times where you could work on specific skills and fundamentals and improve your game. Then after have a coffee and hear stories from the older coaches.”
Amadio plans to finish university, and while doing that is going to become a minor hockey coach.
“I want to continue to be a part of the hockey community and give back what I’ve learned to upcoming players,” says Amadio, named the Nitehawks’ Most Inspirational Player and received the Pat Corrado team award for leadership.
Amadio won those awards the previou season and in 2017-18, was named the Nitehawks’ most dedicated player.
Next week we wrap up with the Eddie Mountain Division recipients.
Images by Beaver Valley/ Peter Kalasz Photography