Organizers deemed the Adam Herold Legacy hockey and leadership development camp in Preeceville a huge success. The Preeceville Minor Hockey Association played host to the hockey school from November 30 to December 1 with 69 participants from across the region. There is another hockey camp scheduled for January 4 and 5.
“The Adam Herold Legacy Foundation was established to provide opportunities to Saskatchewan youth to develop and refine not only their hockey skills, but also their leadership potential," stated Russell Herold, father of Adam.
The Foundation’s Hockey and Leadership Development Program provided the top instructors trained for skill development, physical and mental training, coaching development and ongoing support for hockey programs.
The program consisted of on and off-ice sessions. An off-ice classroom session featured leadership building goals and gave a video of who Adam Herold was and that he was one of the Humboldt Broncos who were tragically killed in a bus accident last year.
Numerous instructors were involved in the various sessions, including Mike Blaisdell, who was a first-round draft pick for the Detroit Red Wings and played 350 NHL games in his career. Mike Dumelie is currently in his ninth season as head coach of the Prairie Storm Bantam AA team and has also been coaching for 38 years at the junior, senior, juvenile, peewee and bantam levels. Dan Yaskowich has trained many athletes over the years in strength and conditioning. Blaine Duffield has 16 years teaching youth teamwork, effort, and discipline. Jordan Trach, is a power skating instructor and has played hockey with the North Battleford Stars (Midget AAA) and with the Prince Albert Raiders in the Western Hockey League (WHL). Jordan Reeve has played with an All Star team in the SJHL and has coached AAA spring hockey with the South Saskatchewan Selects.
"The Foundation’s goal is simple, to build better hockey players and, more importantly, to nurture and support strong community-minded leaders, just like Adam," said Russell Herold.
Adam Herold was an outstanding athlete who was mature beyond his years, according to information provided by the foundation’s website. After a successful season as captain of the Midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians, Herold was called up by the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders to join the team during their playoff run. At the same time, the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Humboldt Broncos called and Adam juggled his time playing for both Prince Albert and Humboldt. On April 6, 2018, the Humboldt Broncos bus was involved in a major accident on the way to a playoff game in Nipawin. Tragically, the accident took the lives of 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos organization, including Adam Herold. He died just six days before his 17th birthday.
Thanks to his natural talent, hard work and family support, Adam experienced many opportunities in his short life, said the information. Not all promising young leaders have the same advantages.
"Adam loved the sport of hockey and his passion for the sport, his community, teammates and family made him an outstanding young man," said Russell Herold, Adam's father. "The foundation was spearheaded by his coaches who believed in Adam and saw his potential. We know the challenges faced by players and their families who live in small communities and wanted a way to bring a higher caliber of hockey that would help develop player skills and become better community leaders. The camp focuses on power skating, puck skills, offensive skills and shooting, defensive skills, read and react skills, coaching development, mental training, leadership and social impact skills.
“There is no fee for the camp but we ask players to play it forward in the ways of any form of fundraiser that will benefit their community and the foundation," said Herold.
“We lost a true leader on that day, a young man destined to contribute to society,” continued the website information. “Our Foundation is designed to honour his memory and recover some of the lost promise of such an outstanding young man.”
Adam was mature beyond his years. That is a credit to his parents and family. He learned to be respectful and honest. He loved openly with his teammates and became their big brother. He was not just a guy in the room, he was their family. The young players, male and female, just lit up when Adam was in the room. They would do anything he asked because they knew he would do anything for them. It wasn’t because he was the best player. It was because Adam took the time to earn their trust and respect by making every one of them feel special.
While Adam was a superior talent, he connected with everyone he met, stated the information. One of his most enduring attributes was how friendly and humble he was. He made friends wherever he went. He was level headed and non-judgmental. There were times he was one of the best players on the ice, but it never went to his head. He just wanted to be one of the boys. He was someone who looked out for his teammates and always offered to help.
He was truly a small town kid at heart. Always content with the simple things. He loved the outdoors and all sports in general.
He loved his family and his community. He spent many years serving at church and was loved and respected by his classmates.
Adam loved farming and was becoming more active in the family farm operation. While he understood the value of productive farmland, he balanced that with his love for nature. He understood the value of sloughs and tree stands in creating habitat for wildlife and balancing ecology. He was a major proponent of wildlife habitat retention. A maturity that belied his age.
“When we assess what created the ability for Adam to be so good in so many roles we could focus on his intelligence, athleticism and environment. All of these are important. As we play our roles in life there is one thing that is consistent and that is our character, our genetic makeup or our DNA, however you determine it. At Adam’s core he was a warm and compassionate soul. He cared for others and that was the one common theme in all that he did. His loss has created a huge hole not only in our family but in the community. This is one way we can give back and keep his memory alive," concluded Russell Herold.