Kent Roosevelt ice hockey team opens season with 3rd annual Leadership Dinner

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By Jim Smith | Special to the Record-Courier

Opportunity, tradition, discipline and developing leadership skills were oft repeated themes during the Kent Roosevelt ice hockey team's 3rd annual Leadership Dinner.

Rough Riders head coach Ben Barlow reminded the attendees that included players, parents and school administrators, that, "being a part of the Roosevelt hockey team is so much more than wins and losses. We want to produce leaders, we want to be an outstanding program and we want to play hockey the right way, with respect and sportsmanship."

Senior team captain Kyle Manning opened the evening's presentations with acknowledgement of Adam Hamilton, a former Kent Roosevelt standout that was killed in Afghanistan serving our country in May 2011.

"Adam Hamilton was one of us," said Manning, who continued to offer insight into his experiences with the program.

Joe Shannon, a former Roosevelt player and owner of Rockne's, humorously recounted his playing experiences that began as a sophomore with no previous skating experience. His experience, though, was highlighted by two important lessons taught to him by former coach Bernie Hovey -- don't ever give up and the importance of discipline.

"Rules are rules. There are challenges every day in life. Just because you don't have a certain skill doesn't mean you can't learn it," Shannon said.

Brad Edwards, a Rough Riders teammate of Barlow's in their senior year of 1996, is now a teacher and coach at Mentor High School. He told this year's players to make the most of their opportunities and that the Roosevelt program was about "tradition and pride." Edwards encouraged the players to "remember the memories you make and treat others with respect. No matter win or lose, you look the opposing player in the eye and say good game."

Following the presentations, current players were presented with Adam S. Hamilton jackets provided to the team by Hamilton's parents, Scott and Connie, a tradition that began last year in honor of Adam.

BLUE LINE NOTES

- This season is the 41st season of Kent Roosevelt ice hockey and Barlow's 11th season as head coach.

- The home opener for the Rough Riders is in the first round of the Adam S. Hamilton Memorial Tournament against Chagrin Falls on Thursday. The game will start at 7:15 p.m. at the Kent State University Ice Arena.

Follow Jim Smith on Twitter @BlueLineNotes

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