Everett Scherger has lost the A wore as assistant captain for the Summerland Steam last season.
The Devon, Alta. native learned during his exit meeting with head coach John DePourcq that it’s being replaced by a C on his No.17 sweater as he captains the team through the 2018/19 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season.
”I think it will be really fun. Getting to lead a great bunch of guys,” Scherger said. “It’s a great opportunity.”
Sherger said he learned from previous Summerland Steam captains Alex Williams and Sam Jones, observing how they were with teammates and the kind of role models they were.
“They set great examples for not just us right now, but you talk about them and they are great examples for future players,” said Scherger.
Scherger is a versatile option for DePourcq who can use him at any forward position. DePourcq is excited to have him back and lead and knows Scherger will do a great job.
“He’s a kid that has his heart in the right place,” says DePourcq. “He’s very talented and the ultimate team guy. The guys like him and he leads by example, which is what you want in a leadership role.”
Scherger credits DePourcq and the coaching staff for him becoming the next captain. They pushed him to this point. Scherger intends to sacrifice everything to help lead and bring a KIJHL title to Summerland. When asked about personal goals for next season, his reply was quick and simple — win.
“I just want to bring a title to Summerland.”
His plans to be ready for next season include improving his conditioning and getting as much ice time as possible. He is spending the summer in Summerland living with his billet family, the Tutkaluks, who are family to him after welcoming him into their home, while working as a plumber.
In his two seasons with the Steam, Scherger has seen that players learn from each other and a bond is built. It’s a bond that is taken to the ice where they want to win together.
The road to winning is expected to go through Osoyoos, their Okanagan Division rival.
“It’s always Osoyoos,” he says. “It’s just good hockey. You go in and after you win a game, in their barn, it feels like you beat the best team in the league. I feel like it’s the same with them against us. It’s just a rivalry and you want to beat them all the time.”
Last season’s Game 7 loss to the Kelowna Chiefs still hurts, and it’s one that creates a hunger for another shot.
“It fuels the fire that’s for sure,” he says. “Having that Game 7 loss, there is no worse feeling than that. Especially with a team, we could have gone far with. It hurts. You don’t want that feeling ever again.”
When next season is over, Scherger wants to be remembered as a guy who always wanted to be at the rink.
“(I) would live and die for the game. I would do anything for the team,” he said.
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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