As an assistant captain, and one of only seven returning players, Manuel (Manny) Schellenberg is playing a pivotal role in the success of the Briercrest College Clippers hockey team.
Though calling Gibsons home, Schellenberg was born and raised in Switz-erland and played hockey for EHC Winterthur.
As one of the older players on the team, head coach Dalton Stoltz is excited to see the impact that he will have this season and into the future.
"He brings a unique perspective to the team," Stoltz said. "And he'll do a great job as an assistant captain because he really wants the team to get better."
"My biggest strength as a person, and also what I bring to the team, is my determination," Schellenberg added. "The last thing I ever want to do is quit. I believe quitting is the easiest thing to do in life, everyone can quit. I believe you are most successful in life with a non-quitting attitude."
The six-foot-five left-winger missed the exhibition schedule as well as the first weekend of the ACAC season due to injury, but quickly made his presence felt in his return in the home opener against NAIT. He was able to contribute on the score sheet by registering a point on each goal that was scored that weekend, but his contribution went beyond the score sheet, as his strength, size and physical play created difficult match-ups for the competition all weekend long.
This physical play is needed on such a young and small Briercrest hockey team, and coach Stoltz will be leaning heavily on him.
"Manny has so much potential to be a dominant player in this league that it is scary," Stoltz said. "I expect Manny to be a force on the ice. I expect his play to do the talking."
The winger originally came to Briercrest solely as a place to play hockey after wrapping up his junior career, but quickly fell in love with the community.
"It is a very unique team atmosphere like I never had before. It's like one big family," he said. "As an athlete, my goal is to keep growing and learning on and off the ice with the boys, be a leader that leads by example."
Everyone is there for each other at any time on and off the ice, he said.
Schellenberg still has several years as a student-athlete at Briercrest, but he is working to build a solid foundation for when his career draws to a close.
"I'm very open-minded about what I'm going to do after my time here at Briercrest," Schellenberg explained. "I would like to continue doing something hockey related. But at the same time, I'd rather be the best husband I can be for the girl I haven't found yet. My main goal outside of sport is to keep getting stronger in my faith so that when I leave this place, I can live a life that glorifies God no matter what might happen throughout my life."
Editor's note: Briercrest College and Seminary is located in Caronport, Sask., 15 minutes west of Moose Jaw.
© Coast Reporter