Jake Swanson says that Steve Piccolo embodies the culture of the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.
“It’s about hard work and giving back to your community, and treating people the way that you want to be treated. Steve is a fantastic leader for us and a selfless leader,” says Swanson, the Nitehawks Vice-President on Piccolo, their president. “If there is something that needs to be done, Steve is the first guy to put his hand up. Steve is a huge part of our organization and is a great asset for us and the KIJHL.”
Nelson Leafs General Manager Lance Morey says “after you meet Steve, it becomes perfectly clear quickly that he is in it for the betterment of the Nitehawks and the league.”
“In a nutshell, Steve is just a relentless worker who gives his all to whatever tasks he puts his mind to,” adds Swason. “He has a huge passion for the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.”
Among the many tasks that Piccolo, a Trail native, gladly does is drive the Nitehawks bus and maintain it.
“If the other team’s bus breaks down, he’ll go pick them up in our bus,” said Piccolo’s son Zaccari. “He is trying to grow the league and make sure it is successful.”
After the Nitehawks were knocked out of the KIJHL Teck Cup playoffs last season, Piccolo, who is retired and served five tours overseas with the Canadian military, volunteered to drive the Nelson Leafs bus for their playoff drive, which ended in the Teck Cup Final.
“He became part of our group and was cheering for our team, and helping out wherever he could,” says Morey. “He is always doing those kinds of things. If you go to the Beaver Valley Arena on game night, you might see him wearing four or five hats. I’ve seen him taking tickets, working the concession, selling beer, in the broadcast booth, he is always somewhere doing something for somebody. I’ve just never really met too many people like him. Very selfless.”
Piccolo donated the Nitehawks’ bus and drove the KIJHL Prospects team to the B.C. Hockey Conference Prospects Game in Chilliwack. He helped out any way he could, including taking photos during the game that he shared for players to access. He has a love for photography and brings his camera to visiting rinks taking photos of both teams.
“Just all those little things he always seems to go a bit above and beyond,” says Morey. “That’s an amazing thing.”
Dave Hnatiuk, Head Coach-GM of the Border Bruins, who also was Head Coach of the KIJHL team, said Piccolo was “just fantastic” during the BCHC trip.
“He was always on time and he’s got water on the bus. He cleaned the bus and didn’t ask for any help. He is always doing what needs to be done to keep things moving,” says Hnatiuk. “It’s people like that around the league – I know every team has a handful of people – but I think Steve’s probably a little different and is willing to help any club any time. He is a great guy to have involved for Beaver Valley and the league.”
“Hockey is my passion, I love it. I like to see these young kids develop into adults and move on,” says Piccolo. “That’s what I like to see and why I do it. It’s so rewarding to watch these kids come in young and not mature yet. You watch the maturity develop and then they move on to a higher level or college. It’s the opportunity we can bring them and that’s what I like. It’s fun to follow these kids.”