Scholarship honours for Harrison
Fifth recipient of the $1,000 John Reid Memorial Scholarship
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 06:00 am
Ryan Harrison is in select company at the John Reid Memorial Tournament.
Harrison, 20, is the first recipient of the John Reid Memorial Scholarship who won the Heart and Hustle Award when he played for the St. Albert Sabres at the bantam AAA tournament.
The Heart and Hustle Award is presented to a Sabres’ player who symbolized the person and hockey player Reid was.
“It’s a great honour to be part of the Heart and Hustle Award and to receive the scholarship is pretty special too,” said the St. Albert Merchants centre.
Harrison was presented with the $1,000 scholarship at Thursday’s opening ceremonies at the Reid tournament at Northstar Hyundai Arena.
“He exemplifies what we look for in a candidate. He is a volunteer, an honour student, a leader and an all-around great guy,” said Reid’s wife, Darcy, during her presentation speech. “This year’s winner also won the John Reid Heart and Hustle back in 2007 and that in itself is quite an honour. He is the only one (of the Heart and Hustle winners) so far that has also won the scholarship and we’re very happy to give it to this young man.”
Previous scholarship winners were Brady McCorriston, Steven Woolger, Joshua Maeda and Justin Kueber.
“School is pretty expensive so this scholarship will definitely help,” said Harrison, an education student at the University Alberta. “I want to be a high school teacher and along with that, the phys-ed part, I want to get involved with a hockey academy school.”
Combining academics and junior B hockey with the Merchants is a challenge.
“It’s definitely a handful. It’s pretty busy between the two. I don’t have very much extra time on my hands so I definitely dedicate my time towards school and I’m still able to play hockey,” said the St. Albert Catholic High School graduate.
The Reid scholarship was established by the parent group of the 2004/05 Sabres and is awarded to a St. Albert player who played in the tournament and attends a post-secondary education institution.
It also challenges players to grow academically into educated, contributing members of society the same way Reid contributed to the St. Albert sports scene as a mentor and coach, as well as displaying a positive attitude.
The former Alberta Golden Bear and Alberta Junior Hockey League forward with the St. Albert Saints and Sherwood Park Crusaders was a dedicated minor hockey and lacrosse coach in St. Albert who left a lasting impression on the lives he touched.
Reid died of leukemia at age 41 on Nov. 6, 2003. The next year the tournament was renamed in his memory.
Harrison is teammates with Reid’s sons, Brady and Casey, on the Merchants.
“I never got to meet John personally but I’ve had the privilege to play with both boys in hockey and get to know them. They’re both character guys and definitely fun to be around,” he said.
Harrison described the Reid tournament as the highlight of his minor hockey career.
“The atmosphere and all the hype around it is great. They also treat you like professionals in this tournament. It’s definitely something I will never forget,” he said. “All these guys here at this tournament will remember it for the rest of their careers and their lives. It’s one tournament you definitely keep in your memory.”
The Sabres reached the semifinals the year Harrison was on the team. The roster included Craig Bokenfohr, Turner Elson, Travis Ewanyk, Garth Wallin and netminder Tyler Bunz.
“We played Notre Dame and they were the team to beat that year (with Brandon Gormley and Jaden Schwartz in the line-up). They ended up winning the final. We actually gave them a run for their money in the semifinals. I think we lost late in the game. We were pretty proud of ourselves. I think that was the farthest a St. Albert team had gone in a while,” said Harrison, who registered two goals and four assists in six games for the Sabres.
He went to play for the midget AAA St. Albert Raiders before graduating to the junior B ranks.
“St. Albert is a great community to play hockey in. They really support you to play hockey and there is a lot of people around to make that happen. This is definitely a hockey community and it’s something I would like to be involved in when I’m finished playing,” he said. “I still love to play hockey. It’s the love of the game, I guess. I still got this year and hopefully another year next year to play and finish off my hockey career.”
Harrison is having a banner season as the Merchants’ top playmaker with 27 assists and 40 points in 27 games, as well as a team-high 93 penalty minutes.
“Our team has been pretty successful this year (16-10-4 record) and hopefully we can make a bit of a run in the playoffs.”