Ceebees’ cap­tain head­ing west

Matthew Thomey ac­cepts teach­ing po­si­tion in Al­berta

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NICHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

When the Con­cep­tion Bay North CeeBee Stars hit the ice next sea­son, it will be do­ing so without team cap­tain and fan favourite Matthew Thomey.

Thomey spent the last four years wear­ing the blue and white. He had be­come syn­ony­mous with the CeeBees name. Men­tion the team, and one would think of Thomey and his pen­chant for timely goals and com­mu­nity in­volve­ment.

He spent the last three years as cap­tain af­ter pre­vi­ous cap­tain, Keith De­laney, left for one sea­son to play with the Cataracts in Grand Fall­sWind­sor.

Thomey, who is fin­ish­ing up his ed­u­ca­tion de­gree at Me­mo­rial Univer­sity in St. John’s, has taken a teach­ing po­si­tion in north­ern Al­berta in the fall. He leaves right af­ter he leads the host boys’ ball hockey team in the 2012 New­found­land and Labrador Sum­mer Games.

The de­ci­sion to leave his home prov­ince was “not an easy” one, stated Thomey, but one he felt “had to be made.”

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity I couldn’t re­ally pass up,” he said. “It’s ex­pe­ri­ence for me to get back to where I want to be.”

Where he wants to be is teach­ing close to home, but that op­por­tu­nity has not come his way.

“The goal is to set­tle down at home, and I’ll al­ways be look­ing for teach­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in Har­bour Grace and New­found­land in gen­eral,” he said. “We’re just go­ing to have to see how this year plays out.”

Right now, the con­tract is only for one year and there is the op­por­tu­nity, al­beit a slim one, that Thomey could re­turn to the club for the 2013- 2014 sea­son.

Thomey said he in­formed the or­ga­ni­za­tion as soon as he was of­fered the po­si­tion in Al­berta.

“They said they ap­pre­ci­ated my time with the CeeBees and wished me the best of luck,” he said.

A cap­tain is born

Thomey re­turned to the club for the 2008-09 sea­son af­ter a suc­cess­ful four-year ca­reer at Yale Univer­sity and an at­tempt at play­ing pro­fes- sional hockey with the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League.

Keith De­laney wore the cap­taincy in Thomey’s first year.

In his sec­ond year, Thomey was given the ‘C’ adding his name to a long list of for­mer cap­tains and re­spected hockey play­ers. Play­ers like Chris Bartlett, Chris Cros­bie, Wes Swain, Ed­die Rus­sell and Randy Rear­don.

In a 2010 edi­tion of The Com­pass, Thomey said then-coach Ian Moores

“He was the per­fect cap­tain. His work ethic was sec­ond to none and he’ll be sorely missed in the dress­ing room.” — Corey Crocker

waited un­til a cou­ple of min­utes be­fore the team stepped on the ice for its opener to in­form him he would be wear­ing the ‘C.’

“It was a tremen­dous hon­our to be the cap­tain,” he said.

A dif­fer­ent feel­ing

Over the past four years, Thomey has strapped on his gear ev­ery Septem­ber in or­der to help the CeeBees push for an­other Herder tro­phy.

“It’s go­ing to be dif­fer­ent not suit­ing up, that’s for sure,” he said.

Th ome y s a i d s ome o f h i s favourite mo­ments in a CeeBees’ jer­sey came dur­ing the team’s nu­mer­ous ti­tle runs to the Herder fi­nal and Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League fi­nals.

“I par­tic­u­larly en­joyed get­ting the op­por­tu­nity to play in the provin­cial league last sea­son,” he said.

Ir­re­place­able

CeeBees’ head coach Corey Crocker had high praise for his for­mer cap­tain.

“He was the per­fect cap­tain,” he said. “His work ethic was sec­ond to none and he’ll be sorely missed in the dress­ing room.”

Crocker said Thomey was a huge part of the CeeBees team.

En route to the team’s ap­pear­ance in the New­found­land and Labrador Se­nior Hockey League semi­fi­nals, Thomey could al­ways be counted on to show up when his team needed him the most.

Thomey said there’s still plenty of lead­er­ship in the lineup, and it won’t be hard to find a cap­tain who can do the job.

Not only was Thomey a vi­tal part of the CeeBees team on the ice, there was a lot of work done by the cap­tain off the ice.

In the fall of 2011, Thomey worked with CeeBees mi­nor hockey pres­i­dent Wendy Pen­ney or­ga­niz­ing a hockey school at the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium.

“We’re go­ing to miss him,” said Pen­ney.

She said Thomey mov­ing away will leave a big hole to fill in the com­mu­nity.

Crocker ex­pressed a sim­i­lar feel­ing.

“You’re not go­ing to re­place him,” said Crocker.

Right now, the con­tract with the school in Al­berta is just for a year.

Thomey has not ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of don­ning the CeeBees jer­sey again.

“I hope that when I do come home there is a team and I can play again,” he said.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

A de­jected Matthew Thomey is seen at the con­clu­sion of a play­off game at the S. W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium in Har­bour Grace last spring.

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