UNITY - Longtime Midget AA hockey coaches, Stan Weber and Dwayne Scott, have called it a career at the rink.
The number of hours these gentlemen spent organizing, mentoring and coaching AA midget hockey players is beyond measure. Numerous alumni players and parents have stated their absence will be felt in this program.
One of their most celebrated graduates, Alex Pernitsky, played hockey with NCAA and is now playing CIS hockey.
“Stan and Dwayne’s commitment to their program is indeed remarkable when you consider neither has had a kid in the program for over a decade,” says Unity Minor Hockey president Dan Feser.
“Motivated only by their love of hockey and the obvious indication Myrna didn’t want Stan at home so much, they made an incredible commitment to their team.”
Feser says many hockey players furthered their AA careers under the mentorship of these two coaches.
“That’s a lot of young men who refer to them as ‘coach.’ As a parent who had a son go through their program, I have nothing but great things to say about their mentorship and influence on their players. They are high character individuals, and they demand the same from their players. A parent can appreciate that.”
Feser also says Scott pre-dates almost everyone within the Unity Minor Hockey organization, and while his attendance became sporadic after his retirement from the UMH executive, the group could always count on his folksy wisdom. UMH maintains he was there when they needed him.
The local hockey community enjoyed the leadership of such well-respected men at the helm of the AA program for a long time. In fact, Hockey Saskatchewan wanted to relocate the team six years ago but unofficially agreed to five more years providing Weber and Scott continued in their roles. Feser points out that this showed great respect for the duo.
“As minor hockey president, a parent and a hockey fan I would sure like to thank them for all they have done. They will be missed. ”
Kelly McClintock, general manager of Hockey Saskatchewan, adds, “… I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Dwayne Scott and Stan Weber for their commitment to minor hockey in Unity for 30 plus years. They contributed greatly to the development of young men in Unity and the surrounding area and served as terrific examples of the pedigree of volunteers that [Hockey Saskatchewan] love to see involved. We wish them all the best and hope they can still find time to provide guidance to those coaches and managers progressing through the minor hockey system in Unity.”
McClintock says the first SHA Hockey Day in Saskatchewan was held in Unity in January of 2008. Guest Speakers were Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson, Marc Habscheid and Ron Robison.
At this event, Weber was given special recognition from the hockey association and community for his ongoing commitment to hockey development in Unity.
Weber says he took over the Midget AA program in 1996 from Trevor Huber. Kevin Cey, who was an assistant with Huber, coached with him for a time. When Cey retired, Brent Weber (Stan’s brother) helped for a couple of years and when he left, Lorne Neilson got involved.
“I took a leave for a couple of years around ’08-09 before Dwayne Scott persuaded me to return to the program. We coached tandem right up to the current season. Dwayne wore two hats with the program as he also served in the managerial role,” says Weber.
Pat Sperle joined the program in 2019 and now has taken over coaching duties for this team, under the West Central Wheat Kings banner since 2020. Weber says Sperle is a guy who will do a great job in this role as he possesses a great hockey IQ combined with a great approach and rapport in dealing with, and instructing, young players.
“Dwayne and I want to thank all the past players, parents, trainers, officials and, of course, all the fans and businesses in and around our community that have so faithfully supported us in the past. We want to wish Pat and his staff all the best this season, and for years to come,” says Weber.
Weber says he and Scott are, and always have been, hockey people therefore will continue to support not only the AA program, but all hockey programs in the community. Unity can be sure they will continue to see both around the rink.