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Regional champion Alpena hockey team stars on and off the ice

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Members of the Alpena High School hockey team present a $500 check to Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena, Brad Somers, on Wednesday. Doug Field sponsored the Wildcats Vulcan Systems Player of the Game for the 2021 hockey season and made a donation to the Alpena hockey team that then donated the check to the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena to support the community. Left to right: Alpena senior goaltender Collin Lightfoot, head coach Chris Limback, Brad Somers, radio color commentator Tom Dutcher (skating Dutchman), radio play-by-play man John Zawacki (Dr. Z) and Alpena senior forward Blaise Keller.

ALPENA — Despite the season being over, the Alpena High hockey team and two of their players are still assisting without being on the ice.

Fresh off a regional championship season, the Wildcats, with the help of Alpena sports supporter Doug Field of Falcon Consumables and Vulcan Systems, are giving back to the community and fans that support the Wildcats.

Field, was Alpena’s Player of the Game sponsor during the season and presented a check to the Wildcat hockey team.

All of Alpena’s Player of the Game recipients throughout the season got together with head coach Chris Limback and the team wanted to give back to the community that supports hockey and shows tremendous support for the Wildcats each year.

Limback and his players presented a $500 check to Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Alpena, Brad Somers on Wednesday and spent time with the young club members who aspire to be athletes and look up to these Wildcats.

“To grow up in Alpena, the Wildcat hockey team is a special thing so any time we can give back to the community and a great place like this means a lot,” Limback said. “To see kids running around and having a good time just makes you feel so great to be able to pass our love of sports on to these kids and help them out and help Brad (Somers) and his staff continue to run a top notch program just like we try to do with the Wildcats.”

Senior goaltender Collin Lightfoot and senior forward Blaise Keller were the pair of Wildcats that spent time at the club on Wednesday, not just presenting the check, but interacting with the kids, playing games, participating in a unique hockey drill and speaking to the club members.

“It was fun seeing all of the kids running around, enjoying all the activities they have here and hopefully they’ll be able to get even more to add to this special club,” Keller said. “There’s some little hockey players here and hopefully we can inspire some of them to want to play or keep playing.”

Limback and his players preached the importance of academics along with talking about how fun it is to be a Wildcat and what a privilege it is to wear the green and white.

“It’s just awesome to come in here and see everyone with all this energy. It’s a tough time, but they come in and have fun and you get to hang out with all your friends in a time where there’s not as much of that going on because of the circumstances,” Lightfoot said. “To see these kids having fun, laughing and screaming is awesome.”

The day was special for the kids as they got to spend time with scholar athletes and senior Wildcats, but the day meant just as much to Somers who was grateful for the opportunity to bring in Wildcat athletes and accept a donation that will go a long way in making a special place in the community even greater.

“It’s awesome to be supportive in the community and great to see varsity athletes come in and interact with the kids here and inspire them. To see the positive reaction between the two individuals that were here representing the hockey team was so special. To come in and talk to these kids about what it takes to be a student-athlete and to present a check to us is going to go a long way in helping our food program that we provide every day for these kids or allow us to get certain equipment or support our teen hours on Fridays. In an uncertain world we’re living in, it’s great to see some certainty and support because it helps us do what we do and allows us to do it even better,” Somers said. “It gives me goosebumps. To have young people in this community recognizing what we’re doing here and step up to help and see the value of what it means to support our youth and make an impactful donation like this is just incredible and I am so thankful.”

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