Bonnyville Pontiacs Captain Joel Ray is the recipient of the 2020 Inter Pipeline AJHL Scholarship. Inter Pipeline Operations Contractor Christina Babey and Pontiacs President Ron Rusnak presented Ray with the $1,500 scholarship in a pre-game ceremony prior tonight?s AJHL playoff game in Bonnyville.
The Inter Pipeline AJHL Scholarship Program rewards one current AJHL player with a scholarship towards their post-secondary education at the conclusion of each season. The scholarship is awarded to the player deemed most deserving among the applicants (one per AJHL team) based on their proven qualities in the areas of leadership, sportsmanship, dedication and citizenship.
Pontiacs General Manager & Head Coach Rick Swan is thrilled with the recognition of Ray, ?You can’t underestimate the power of a great leader, and with Joel, he helps unify a group of 25 young men from different backgrounds and experiences from across North America to believe in a common goal together. Joel is not only the hardest working player that I have ever coached, he is a servant leader who makes good decisions by always thinking of others first.?
?Joel comes from a great, supportive family and he has a strong sense of self-worth, which gives him confidence in his abilities as a player and as a person, without ever being arrogant. Joel’s family has taught him the value of hard work and treating people with respect. He imparts those attributes into our culture every single day and no matter what role he is tasked with he does it to the very best of his capability.?
?This year Joel was identified as the RBC AJHL Community Ambassador and he awarded the respective scholarship funds to our local Duclos School Sensory Playground to help benefit the youth in our community. His dedication to giving back as a member of the Pontiacs is an amazing accomplishment to say the least, considering that he has committed to playing in the most competitive and demanding junior hockey League in the country, while holding a part-time job and taking a full course load of University classes.?
Joel Ray believes the lessons learned while playing hockey have been immense. ?Being part of a team is something everyone may get to experience, but being part of a hockey team is so much more. Playing junior hockey has shown me the motivation that can be generated from a team environment, the brotherhood that exists within the group, and most importantly that the roles on the team must all be filled for the team to be successful. I know that I would not have gained this knowledge without my three years in the AJHL, and I also know how important it will be outside of hockey.?
The Innisfail, AB native has also made a positive impact at his High School. ?Joel stands out as an extremely hard working, dedicated student who consistently strived to achieve his personal best,? stated Innisfail High School Teacher Mr. Rod Andrews.
?His contributions in class created a positive learning environment as he participated with maturity and dedication. Joel competently displayed desirable traits of inner motivation and determination, which has developed an envied ability to excel in numerous skills. Able to work independently, or as a valued team player, he completed all tasks with excellence. Joel humbly served as a model for his peers, possesses a solid potential and, given his work ethic, I am confident that he will succeed with any task to which he is committed.?