The Summerland Steam have named their new captain for the 2018/19 KIJHL Season. Devon, AB native Everett Scherger, in his third season with the Summerland Steam, will wear the ‘C’ for Head Coach John Depourcq when the Steam hit the ice this coming September.
“We feel he’s the right guy to wear it because of the type of player and person he is,” Said Depourcq on his choice to captain his squad, “He’s a remarkable young man and a very talented hockey player who’s will to compete makes those around him better. The kid loves hockey, plain and simple, and it rubs off on his teammates and those around him. We couldn’t be happier to have him lead our team both on the ice and into the community to start the 2018/19 season.”
Scherger, a KIJHL veteran of 74 regular season and playoff games over the past two seasons, missed significant time due to injury during the 2017/18 season. He amassed 9 goals and 22 points last season while missing a month from November 21 to December 29 and again from late January through early March. Scherger found himself unable to play much during the 2017 KIJHL Playoffs, but wound up on the bench and playing limited shifts during Games 5, 6, and 7 of that first round series while at much less than 100%.
“It speaks to the type of person and player he is,” Coach Depourcq said, “He’s the ultimate team guy, who will do anything for his teammates if it makes the group better.
We wanted his presence in our lineup, even if it was just his voice on the bench. Our team was going through a bit of a difficult time with our backs against the wall against a really good team, and even though he didn’t see much ice due to his injury he was a big part of those wins in Games 5 & 6 that allowed us to play a Game 7.”
Scherger, who turned 20 on May 7th, is excited for the opportunity to carry on from great captains before him like Alex Williams and Sam Jones:
“They set great examples to follow,” Scherger said in conversation with Steam beat reporter Emanuel Sequira, “Not just for us right now, but you talk about them and they become great examples for future players as well.”
Scherger has firmly relocated to Summerland for the summer, continuing to live with his billet family, the Tutkaluk’s, while also working in the plumbing trade. He plans to be on the ice as much as possible to build his conditioning and strength headed into his final season of junior hockey.
He learned of Coach John Depourcq’s decision to make him captain during his exit meeting at the end of the 2017/18 season, and was immediately energized.
“I was really excited,” He said, “Just being around the room and all those guys, we’ve got a great group. Not only that but we’ve got a great coaching staff, a great fan base and a good community supporting us. That’s the kind of thing that gets you excited as a player.”
When asked about what it will be like to trade his familiar ‘A’ for a ‘C’ this coming September, Scherger had high praise for his coaches and teammates for helping him push hard to achieve it:
“They were the ones that helped get me here,” He said, “They pushed me, they played me in all sorts of situations because they had faith in my ability, and they help bring everybody together. It’s very helpful as a leader in the locker room when your coaching staff not only believes in you, but helps you unify a group of 20 or 25 guys to strive for a common goal.”
That goal, Scherger says, is to bring a KIJHL Championship to Summerland.
“I want to be remembered as a guy who loved to be at the rink, and loved to win hockey games,” Scherger said, “I want to be that guy that lives and dies inside the glass and does anything for the team, and if I can help get guys on board with that strategy, we’re going to be a real tough hockey team to compete against. If we get on board with that strategy and never take a shift off, we’re going to compete for a championship, no doubt.”
The Steam, who finished third in the Okanagan Division last season, will be in tough once again as the Kelowna Chiefs and Osoyoos Coyotes will be as tough as ever to play against. Former Head Coach of the Osoyoos Coyotes, Ken Law, has taken over as the Head Coach and Assistant GM of the Kelowna Chiefs, and is sure to make them an even tougher team to play against than the team that took the Steam out of the KIJHL playoffs in Game 7 of Round 1 last year.
“It fuels the fire, that’s for sure,” Said new captain Everett Scherger of the Game 7 loss, “Inside this division is real tough, physical, borderline mean hockey to play, and we had a real good year last year. To go out in Round 1 with the team we had, who we thought could make a deep run and potentially battle for a championship, it was tough. We’re going to do what we can to make sure we don’t feel that again this year.”
Summerland, as per tradition, will likely open the KIJHL schedule on the second Friday of September (This year September 7th) on home ice, but that won’t be the first opportunity to see Everett Scherger with his new ‘C’. He, along with several other Steam players, will take part in the 36th Annual Summerland Action Festival parade on Saturday at 10AM on Main St. in downtown Summerland. Head down there, find them, and you might even score yourself some free tickets!