Netminder Michael Hails

Netminder Michael Hails

Franson makes Fortune

Nashville Predators’ defenceman Cody Franson  told A.L. Fortune student-athletes to believe in themselves and never quit on their goals.

Franson, a 23-year-old who grew up in Sicamous, was the featured speaker at the Falcons’ year-end athletics banquet Wednesday night in front of 200 guests.

The 13 coaches of the 19 teams gave a brief overview of the highlights of each team’s season and recoginized three athletes with individual awards. Team captains then thanked their coaches.

The overall top athletes in Grade 8, junior and senior were then recognized.

Co-winners of the senior male athlete of the year were Billy Abbott and Josh Vetter, while the senior female athlete of the year Dillon Halvorson.

The top junior male athlete was Luke Tompkins, and the top junior female athlete, Kassy Harder. The Grade 8 honoured athletes were Brett Bernard and Jessica Bourelle and Tea Reimer (tie).

“Cody talked about growing up in Sicamous, coached by his dad in minor hockey, and then moving away from home at the young age of 16 years to play junior B for Beaver Valley (Nitehawks), then major junior hockey in Vancouver for three years with the Giants,” said Terry Shykora of Fortune athletics.

“He spent two years with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American League, and now has played two full seasons with the Nashville Predators. Cody said that as he went through the ranks, he might not have been the fastest or most skilled player, but he was always determined to be the one who worked the hardest.

“He advised the young athletes to not be discouraged by doubters who might tell you that you are not big enough or fast enough, but to believe in yourself and always work hard and stay focussed on your goals, no matter what aspect of your life they may be in. Cody said that his dad always told him to prove the doubters wrong, and to be able to do that has been very satisfying to him.

“He also talked about how much he enjoys coming home in the summer and spending time with his high school friends and helping out at the Sicamous hockey school.  Cody was extremely generous with his time, sticking around to take pictures with a large number of the athletes in attendance and answering their questions.”

Shykora gave special praise to PAC parent Janice Croken, “who made all of the preparations for a wonderful night.”