I know that I was not online as much as I had planned. The combination of a lot of great sights, and a computer that went haywire on the third day limited my ability to share my thoughts. Now that we are home I wanted to post one last thought about an amazing trip, an amazing group, and three amazing countries. I cannot tell you how proud I am of the 29 young Spartans that came with me on the trip; their willingness and eagerness to see new people, places and things is inspiring. Their fearless nature in exploring areas and cultures that were previously unknown, reinforces the notion that the world is shrinking!
With the exception of my sensitive computer and the customs agents who delayed us 2 hours in Boston upon our arrival back in the states, this was a perfect trip. I could go on and on about each individual that was on the trip and I should. To try to have a little fun and keep things brief I am going to hand out awards. Why awards? Everyone who gets nominated for the Oscar, Grammy, Vezina, Richard, Clancy, Lady Bing etc….. is deserving and to just be nominated is an award in itself. Everyone on this trip is nominated as they all contributed daily to an amazing experience for everyone but in a few instances some people really stepped up and I will present them with a special acknowledgement.
Best Travel Partners = This award goes to the few on the trip that were not students.
Winner is…… A tie between the Varneys, Krieslers, Van Dykes and Herzogs.
Not only did these families get along well with each other they were ultra positive and encouraging on every part of the trip, and supported the players in all of their explorations. Having extra passengers is always worrisome, however when those extra passengers become messengers of support then they become the best ally that any trip could have.
Best Dressed on Trip = Who looked good everyday, representing the school appropriately by their appearance alone.
Winner = Assistant Coach Terry Moran
You would think getting Terry Moran away from his wife and wardrobe for a week would throw him out of his comfort zone, but Terry was put together and impressive at every stop. A special acknowledgment needs to go out to Nick Lazorko who made a late push with purchase of stylish European cut blue pants, however it was too little, too late.
Super Explorer Award = Award to those who used every waking minute to explore Europe.
Winners = Brian Green and Thomas Shelley.
Everyone was out exploring the different villages and towns that we were in. However, I would wake up and look out my window and see Thomas and Brian, out the door on a mission to see something new, and always seemed to have a place to see and plan to get there. I know everyone enjoyed the trip, but I doubt anyone saw as much as Thomas and Brian.
Super Sacrifice Award = Person who gave up something to help make the trip a success.
Winner = Brett Zeggil
Brett’s involvement with this trip is maybe second only to my own. Brett planned, organized, and fund-raised everyday for close to a year to make this trip a possibility. However, when a family situation arose, he did not hesitate and was on a plane back to Toronto before we even left for Zurich. His decisive nature and continued generosity of his time and energy makes him a role model, and a leader.
Internet Excellence Award = The person or persons who took to the internet most often to keep friends and family abreast of all that we were doing in Europe.
Winner = Sean Bianchini
Sean, even without our laptop was able, through his smart phone, send all of the posts that filled everyone in. He spent at least one hour every night for the entire trip, no matter how late or how tired he was, online updating all of our Spartan friends, family and fans. He was a trooper and very deserving of this award.
Best Country = Of the three which one did I like best?
Winner = Austria
Nicer people, better food and much more affordable than Switzerland. I highly recommend a trip to Austria any chance that you get.
Coach with the Most Patience
Winner = Hannah Corkery the Castleton Women’s Lacrosse Graduate Assistant.
Hannah volunteered to drive down to Logan Airport in Boston to pick up the smelly hockey gear ,so that there was enough room on the bus for the team. That job by itself is tough enough, add to it a 2 hour delay at customs, and she is not home until 2:30 am. A huge thank you from the entire team to Hannah and her patience.
Senior Leadership Award = For any team be successful there has to be a senior who steps up in his last year to make a positive difference with his team.
Winner = Justin Alonzo
Once Brett made the decision to go home to be with his family, I was very nervous about how our team would respond to the loss of a good leader. Before they had a chance to realize that Brett was gone Justin asserted himself as an extremely hard working, lead by example, positive player that kept the focus of the trip always on the right thing.
Best Breakfast and Hotel
Winner = Hotel Christophours
Christoph and his family live in and run the Hotel Christophours in Kitzpuhl. It may be the nicest hotel that I have ever stayed in, and having Christoph and is family up every morning making us breakfast, was amazing!! Our last game was in Kitzbuhl and it was also Christoph’s birthday; he was in attendance and I think was just as fond of our team as we were of him, his family and his hotel.
All Swedish and No Finnish = Awarded to the player that who looked great on the ice yet had few to zero points to show for it.
Winner = Charlie Bando
Though Josh Harris made a late push in our last game in Kitzpuhl, the award was won in Zell Am See when Charlie Bando in full possession of the puck inside the blue line had wide open net as the Zell Am See goalie was mistakenly going to the bench on a delayed penalty. However, Charlie missed the net, and though Charlie worked hard all week and looked great on the ice his inability to hit the empty net brings him this award.
Wayne / Mario Award = Awarded to the player who created the most offense during the trip.
Winner = Dan Bell
Dan Bell had a break out season last year and this trip was no different, Dan was a difference maker every time he was on the ice especially when he had the puck. Lets all hope that Dan can play like he did in Europe for the entire season here as well.
I have ability to plan this trip once every 4 years, and after this trip with this group I would be willing to do it every year. I hope that this post and the ones prior to this show a little bit of the amazing experience we all had in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Thanks for all of your support and we look forward to seeing all of you at Spartan Arena soon.