Head Coach Tim Pergram, staff, and players:
WOW! What a year, so many high spots in a great turn around season. It is a season to be proud of, one that the returning players can build off of, and one that the outgoing seniors can feel good graduating on. A season that saw a 17 game improvement in the win column, but that isn’t as important as watching a team come together that has gone through some lean years.
In late August I was brought in to this site to help write some on other sports, but asked if anyone was covering the hockey program. I was told no one was and asked if I could have the spot, I was told yes, and it turned out to be one of the best choices of my life. I have been so lucky in covering this team. Every single person from Madison in media, who was the first person I talked to with the team, to the coaching staff, and the players have been nothing but amazing. The team allowed me access to the players and media on the website, and was always there when I might have a question with an answer. Every player that I spoke with, either on Twitter or in person, were nothing but gracious to me and amazing with there time to do an interview for the site. Oh, and thank you for the team signed stick and shirts!!
I am extremely proud of the relationship I have formed with this team, but I am the proudest of working with the team to create the Taylor Vit Leadership Award. This started out as an award I thought would be cool to give to the senior that the staff thought was most deserving as a leader on and off the ice. It turned into something simply amazing when the staff came back to me with the idea of the award being open to all players, but naming it after Taylor was truly special. The Vit family were so amazing in allowing us to name the award in his honor, and were even at the game to give the award to the first ever winner, senior Cory Day.
In closing, I’d like to thank Coach TP and Coach Clay, you two were so great to me this year. Made me feel like part of the team, even though I’m just someone trying to act like a sports writer and cover two of my favorite things, Kentucky Athletics and hockey. Madison, THANK YOU for always answering my texts and setting up the player interviews. You were the first person I spoke with, and the one that helped me the most. Cory Day, Thank you for always taking the time to speak to me when I was needing a quote or interview. I am proud to say that you are the first winner of the Taylor Vit Award. Eric Williams, you were always nice and even thanked me for making the long trip up to games in a message once. That meant a lot. I can’t wait to see how much you improve next season. And to the rest of the players and staff, THANK YOU so very much for being kind and taking the time to say hello, do an interview, or just introduce yourself. You are a great group of guys and can’t wait to see ya’ll win the SEC next year!
Much love and respect,