Cari­bous coach makes Herder his­tory

Re­becca Rus­sell first woman to lead team to cov­eted tro­phy

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Front page - BY JONATHAN PAR­SONS

The smile on her face said it all.

When the fi­nal buzzer sounded Satur­day night at the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay, coach Re­becca Rus­sell and as­sis­tant coach An­drew Hap­good fell to­gether in a bear hug.

The Cari­bous had taken the Herder in four games straight, and Rus­sell had made his­tory, be­com­ing the first woman to coach a se­nior hockey team to a Herder cham­pi­onship win.

While many call her a trail­blazer, head coach for the Cari­bous has al­ways down­played her role in break­ing the glass ceil­ing in se­nior hockey.

And in the wake of this sea­son’s Herder win, she says she hopes, from here on, she’ll be seen as a coach first and fore­most.

In an in­ter­view with The Packet, Rus­sell says she con­cedes the amount of at­ten­tion she’s get­ting for be­ing a fe­male Herder win­ner this one time, “if it helps peo­ple be­lieve in some­thing more. Cari­bous play­ers cheer and ap­plaud as head coach Re­becca Rus­sell holds the Herder tro­phy for the first time on Satur­day night.

“If it’s a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of some­thing big­ger for oth­ers, then I’m okay with tak­ing that pride of be­ing a trail­blazer and be­ing proud of what we’ve done as a team, what those boys have done with me to make this hap­pen

and help me be the first,” she said.

Rus­sell though gives the credit to the play­ers, say­ing it was their hard work on the ice, their fo­cus, that gave her the op­por­tu­nity to make hockey his­tory

in this prov­ince.

“Hope­fully it’ll help peo­ple, whether male or fe­male, who may be­lieve that they couldn’t do some­thing be­cause of who they were, or where they lived, or their gen­der, or sex­u­al­ity, or what­ever it is.

“I hope that peo­ple look at this and say, ‘She did it — why can’t I?’”

The 2018 Herder win came af­ter a long jour­ney from the heart­break­ing end to last sea­son.

There were tears shed this time last year in Clarenville, as a con­tro­ver­sial goal by the Cee Bees in the sev­enth game of the se­ries, ended the Cari­bous hopes.

“It still stings, to be hon­est,” said Rus­sell, say­ing the events of last year was a driv­ing force be­hind their play in this year’s sea­son, and cham­pi­onship se­ries.

“Up un­til the last cou­ple of days, peo­ple were still talk­ing about that Herder cham­pi­onship that we lost … I don’t think we’ll ever for­get it.

“But . . . the fact that we re­sponded the way we did, with the group of guys that we had, to get us back in the sit­u­a­tion where we weren’t go­ing to let it slip us by again … to me that’s a spe­cial thing and a spe­cial group of guys.”

NATHAN EDDY PHOTO/SPE­CIAL TO THE PACKET

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.