Red Deer, Alta. – The Saskatoon Blades are proud to announce the club has been named the 2017-18 Western Hockey League Scholastic Team of the Year. The announcement came at the annual awards banquet on Wednesday afternoon in Red Deer where Blades’ Educational Advisor, Kim Hebert, was on hand to accept the award.
The award is a testament to the Blades’ mandate of developing “people first, players second”. For Kim Hebert, her goal was to ensure all 23 players were involved in an academic endeavour. The high school aged players all graduated on time with the younger group having planned out to complete earlier than expected next year. The older players who are no longer in high school were all involved in either courses at the University of Saskatchewan or through Athabasca University.
Kim Hebert recently finished her 13th season with the Saskatoon Blades and is the driving force behind the team’s academic success.
“Kim has been invaluable to us, so receiving this award further proves how hard she works to ensure our players are taken care of in the classroom,” said Blades General Manager Colin Priestner. “It really is a daunting task to manage over 20 teenagers and their specific needs and classes, but Kim has maintained consistent communication between our players, their parents at home and their billets, our franchise school Marion Graham here in Saskatoon and each of the players’ hometown schools, which ultimately makes the transition for our guys much easier and allows them to excel academically. We can’t thank her enough for what she does,” added Priestner.
Hebert also works with the players in arranging career counselling seminars to help them better understand their options for life after hockey and ensure the players fully understand their scholarship opportunities provided by the Western Hockey League.
Academically, the Blades’ high school students earned an average of 73.5% at the end of semester one. “This is fantastic,” says Hebert. “All of our players were working at the top of their individual academic abilities, which is exactly what we aim for so we’re very proud of our team average.”
Second year Blades forward, Chase Wouters, lead the way for the Blades in the classroom being named the WHL’s Eastern Conference Scholastic Player of the Year. Wouters excelled in core courses, posting a 94% grade in Math Foundations 20, a 92% in Math Pre-Calc 30, a 90% in Chemistry 30, an 87% in History 30: Canadian Studies, and an 83% in English Language Arts A30.
The Blades organization would like to congratulate and thank Kim Hebert, the staff at Marion M. Graham Collegiate, and our players for putting in the work off the ice to achieve this award.