If only he had his own wheels to whip around Knoxville, Tenn. in, the more good Jagger Williamson could do.
The 24-year-old former captain of the B.C. Hockey League’s Vernon Vipers has been named the winner of the inaugural Knoxville Ice Bears Charitable Foundation Community Service Award.
Williamson, from Lumby, is in his first season with the Ice Bears, who play in the 10-team Southern Professional Hockey League. He found out about the honour after practice on Wednesday, April 5.
“It means a lot,” said Williamson. “We do quite a bit of stuff down here, a lot of it during the week. I’m always volunteering. I don’t have a vehicle but I worry about that after.
“Doesn’t matter if it’s playing with kids, visiting the children’s hospital, go play ball hockey, visit the homeless shelter. It’s the same when I was in Vernon. I don’t mind helping out. It’s fun. You meet a lot of people, make new friends, and the fans, when they come to our games, can put a face with the name. It’s cool and a lot of fun.”
The Ice Bears said on their social media pages they created the community service award with Williamson in mind.
“Jagger was consistently the first one to sign up for our community events. Without asking, we knew we could count on him,” said the team. “Whether it be dropping off teddy bears, visiting centres, or teaching the youth of Knoxville about the game we love by playing ball hockey, Jagger was doing it all with the biggest smile and encouraging words.
Williamson comes by his love of volunteering honestly, crediting his mom, Tracy, with instilling a love of helping out.
“To see some of the kids’ smiles on their faces, they’ll remember that for a long time,” he said. “I get that from my mom and my mom’s side (of the family). She loves being around kids, I love being around kids and I take a lot of pride in volunteering.”
The Ice Bears have clinched a playoff spot. They enter the final weekend’s home-and-home series with the Roanoke (Virginia) Rail Yard Dawgs tied with the Yard Dawgs for fourth place. Each team has 65 points, one more than the Evansville (Indiana) Thunderbolts, but Knoxville has one more win than Roanoke.
Williamson is fourth in team scoring with 11 goals and 29 assists for 40 points in 54 games played.
A year ago, he helped the Columbus (Georgia) River Dragons reach the championship series of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, which they lost in a deciding game to the Watertown (New York) Wolves.