Players Hear From Ben Jacobson
The Waterloo Black Hawks presented the club’s annual awards Sunday afternoon at McElroy Auditorium, celebrating the season with assembled fans at the team’s original rink.
Those in attendance had the opportunity to hear from special guest speaker Ben Jacobson, head men’s basketball coach of the University of Northern Iowa Panthers. He encouraged the Hawks to understand the small things which make the difference between being good and great.
“Just find that little bit. It might be a little more in the workout room, it might be listening to your coach, it might be reading a book, it might be studying somebody,” noted Jacobson. “It could be any of those things. As you go forward, just understand, you are that close.”
Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O’Handley also spoke and drew attention to the growth of his players during a seven-month USHL season.
“When you look at these young men, from where they started to where they are today, it’s pretty special.”
During the awards portion of the program, team captain Alec McCrea cycled back to the lectern repeatedly. The third-year defenseman was recognized with the Black Hawks Booster Club Player of the Year Award, the team’s Community Service Award, and was voted “Hardest Worker” by his teammates.
Other awards bestowed upon players by their peers included:
Most Improved Player – Forward Larry Jungwirth
Unsung Hero – Forwards Max Coatta and Henrik Rommel (co-winners)
Rookie of the Year – Forward Brock Boeser
Most Valuable Player – Goaltender Cale Morris
Rommel was also voted the Slumberland Furniture Fan’s Choice Player of the Year. The annual campaign allows fans to “vote” by making a monetary contribution in a box featuring their favorite player’s picture. The funds are then distributed to local non-profit groups in the Cedar Valley.
Defenseman Phil Beaulieu received the Roth Jewelers Front Office Player of the Year Award for his efforts to assist team staff away from the ice.
Penalty Box Announcer Steve Husome was presented with the organization’s Karen Wente Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his efforts for the club.