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New AHSHA leadership award recognizes Doan, Catalano

 

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It’s onward and upward for the Arizona High School Hockey Association (AHSHA).

This season, the new Shane Doan Leadership Award will be presented to one senior player in each of the four Varsity divisions upon the conclusion of the 2018-19 season.

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According to AHSHA president Marc Fritsche, this award will be based on top-notch leadership, both on and off the ice.

“We were looking for a face to put with a scholarship for the high school senior that shows exceptional leadership,” said Fritsche. “Most awards we give away are given for either financial or athletic reasons. What we are looking to highlight is what some of these kids that not only play hockey but also lead an exceptional life off ice and are the epitome of leadership like Captain Coyote himself.”

shane-doan-2017-7166“I am so grateful and honored to be part of AHSHA’s program,” Doan added. “Young people playing hockey is really the best part of our sport. The game of hockey has given me so much and any opportunity to encourage other young hockey players is such a privilege and an honor. The game reveals the character inside of these players and then helps it to grow. I am very excited for the future of AHSHA.”

The award will also be presented in collaboration with the Tanner Catalano Foundation.

Tanner Catalano was an avid hockey player and fan who was tragically killed in a car crash back in 2007. The foundation in his name was created shortly thereafter in his memory and several of the individuals on the committee have had ties to AHSHA through either coaching or having kids playing.

“We wanted to give back to AHSHA in the name of our former friend and teammate,” said foundation board member Marc Kamin. “The foundation approached AHSHA about doing an award such as this and couldn’t think of a better role model than Shane Doan, who not only led at the highest level of hockey but also with class for such a long time. Shane was approached and was honored to be a part of it. We had a few meetings and hammered out all the details and we couldn’t be happier to finally roll out this award.”

The Arizona Coyotes are a major supporter of AHSHA and are thrilled with the new scholarship coming to fruition this season.

“I think it shows commitment from the league and the Tanner Catalano Foundation to provide these sorts of opportunities for high school seniors,” said Coyotes director of amateur hockey development Matt Shott. “Everyone in Arizona knows how good of a person Shane was while he was a player, and I think this cements the fact that he really does care about the community and helping the hockey world.”

“Having Shane on board is huge,” added Kamin. “He is such a well-respected member of not only our hockey community, but our community in general. The fact that Shane supports high school hockey speaks volumes to its continued growth and popularity here in Arizona.”

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Fritsche noted the award will be very prestigious as just four out of nearly 650 high school players in the state will be chosen for the award.

“I think it will be an honor to attach your name to this award as a winner and the scholarship that comes with it will help with the next step in any senior’s life, which is usually college,” said Fritsche. “We have put a lot of time into the criteria and would like to thank the Tanner Catalano Foundation for their partnership in making this award become a reality. We have partnered with the Coyotes and now adding Shane Doan and the Catalano Foundation is pretty exciting to show how far Arizona high school hockey has come.”

All of the teams will submit their nominees by Dec. 1 and each nominee will have to fill out an application along with writing an essay to be considered.

— Matt Mackinder

(Nov. 19, 2018)