Once a Viper, always a Viper.
A phrase coined by late Vernon Vipers owner Duncan Wray, who died in 2018. The winner of the B.C. Hockey League team’s Duncan Wray Memorial Award embodies that phrase, captain Connor Marritt.
The Kelowna native played three seasons (and one game as an affiliate player) with the Snakes. Marritt played 201 regular- and post-season games with the club, his last being a three-point effort at the team eliminated the Wenatchee Wild in five games in the first round of the Interior Conference playoffs.
The Duncan Wray Memorial Award. Duncan used to say "Once a Viper, always a Viper" and you couldn’t find a better example of what it means to be Viper. The winner of the Duncan Wray Memorial Award…Connor Marritt#OneGoal pic.twitter.com/d5EX2zaPS9
— VernonVipers (@VernonVipers) April 4, 2020
The Vipers have been handing out their year-end awards via Twitter, one award per day over a two-week period.
Williams Lake defenceman Landon Fuller picked up his third honour when he was named winner of the Fan Favourite Award.
The honour is given to a special individual who can bring smiles to all of the fans faces.
The Top Defencemen Award is shared between two players who were often on the ice against the opponents’ top players, Jackson Caller and Trey Taylor.
The Fan Favorite is a special award. It goes to a special individual who can bring smiles to all of the fans faces. The winner of the award is the biggest person who also happens to have the biggest smile! The winner of the Fan Favorite Award…is Landon Fuller#OneGoal pic.twitter.com/mu2c8wPgO7
— VernonVipers (@VernonVipers) April 3, 2020
To recap, award winners so far include:
Top Scorer: Matt Kowalski;
Bill Brown Academic Excellence: JoJo Tanaka-Campbell;
Most Sportsmanlike: Connor Sleeth;
Rienie Holland Community Service: Landon Fuller, Connor Marritt;
Wayne Buck Memorial Award: Trey Taylor;
Most Improved Player: Tanaka-Campbell;
Blueliners Academic Scholarship: Fuller;
Unsung Hero: Reilly Herbst, Christian Felton;
Rookie of the Year: Cam MacDonald;
Top Defenceman: Jackson Caller, Taylor;
Duncan Wray Memorial Award: Marritt;
Fan Favourite: Fuller.
Due to COVID-19 and the closure of Kal Tire Place North, the Vipers have postponed their spring camp set for April 24-26. It will be rescheduled at a later date.