HUMBOLDT [url=http://www.chargerscheapstore.com/hayes-pullard-jersey-cheap]Hayes Pullard Jersey[/url] , Saskatchewan – In an April 8 story about the bus crash involving a Canadian hockey team, The Associated Press, quoting family members, said Xavier Labelle had been killed. Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice said Monday the body of Parker Tobin was mistaken for that of Labelle. It said Labelle is injured but alive, and Tobin is among the deceased.
A junior hockey team was en route to a crucial playoff game Friday when a tractor-trailer slammed into their chartered bus, killing 15 and sending shock waves through a small town on the Canadian plain.
More than half the passengers on the Humboldt Broncos’ bus were killed. Most were players who hailed from the prairie provinces known for farming, but victims also included coaches, a radio announcer, team statistician and a bus driver accustomed to weathering hazardous road conditions.
The team’s first line, including the team captain and the son of a former NHL player, all died. Three of the young players killed were named Logan.
Family members, friends and former team managers provided a glimpse of most of those who died:
FIRST LINE DOWN
Logan Schatz, 20, was a four-year veteran of the Broncos and had been captain for more than half his time with the team. The high-scoring center was the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s player of the month twice this season.
Schatz’s wingmen on the team’s top line, Jaxon Joseph and Conner Lukan, were also killed.
Schatz had praised the two publicly in January. ”I’ve really clicked with Joseph and Lukan,” he said on the team’s website. ”I can’t say enough good things about them.”
Joseph, 20, the son of former NHL player Chris Joseph, was among the leading scorers in the league playoffs. He had previously played on the St. Albert Raiders with Lukan.
The death of Lukan, 21 [url=http://www.49erscheapstore.com/patrick-willis-jersey-cheap]Patrick Willis Jersey[/url] , of Slave Lake, Alberta, was announced by the Raiders on Twitter.
Two other Raiders alumni also died in the crash: Stephen Wack and Logan Hunter.
Wack, 21, had played two seasons with the Broncos and ”absolutely lived and breathed hockey,” his cousin Alicia Wack said.
”Stephen has always been an amazing person, son, big brother, and cousin,” she said on Facebook. ”He is one of the most adventurous, ambitious, and loving people that I have ever been blessed to know.”
Hunter was a great hockey player and a smart kid with a great sense of humor, said Kevin Porter, president of the Raiders. ”He always had a smile on his face,” Porter said.
Tributes to head coach Darcy Haugan described him as a great person, coach and mentor.
”He will always be a great man in our hearts,” said his sister, who posted on Twitter under the name Debbie Jayne. ”The tears just keep coming.”
Haugan played in the junior hockey league in the 1990s.
Steven Wilson, a radio play-by-play announcer, called Haugan ”the classiest guy” in the league. The last time they saw each other, Haugan was playing video games in his office with one of his two young sons.
”He was very dedicated to his family and at the same time he was a hockey guy [url=http://www.patriotscheapstore.com/steve-grogan-jersey-cheap]Steve Grogan Jersey[/url] ,” Wilson said.
Haugan’s wife, Christina George-Haugan, is the team’s office manager.
One of Haugan’s assistants was Mark Cross, who had joined the team after being named most valuable player last year while playing with the Maroons in the Highway Hockey League.
”I can honestly say I didn’t know a more kind-hearted, generous, caring and overall nice person,” cousin Graeme Cross said in an online tribute.
”Mark was one of those people that just made you feel safe and brought a special spark when you were in his presence.”
Bus driver Glen Doerksen was accustomed to driving routes between rinks for Charlie’s Charters, the official carrier for more than a half dozen hockey teams. He was no stranger to the storms that sweep across the plain during the long winter.
”Our trips to Foam Lake and Allan were on horrible highways due to winter storms,” Kris Babbings, manager of the Kinistino Tigers, said on Twitter. ”We got on that bus and trusted him with our lives and both times he got us home safely. Tragically yesterday he and many others didn’t make it home and our hearts are broken for your families and friends.”
Babbings said he would never forget the smile on Doerksen’s face after the Tigers won their championship in Allan last month. The team asked the driver to honk his horn twice ”for the cup.”
”Tonight, Glen, we give two honks for you,” he wrote. ”Rest easy sir.”
CALLING THE SHOTS ON AIR AND PLAYS ON SIDELINES
Tyler Bieber was in his first season as the team’s play-by-play announcer for Humboldt radio station CHBO, where he also covered news.
”He definitely had a natural talent,” said Wilson, a co-worker in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. ”He was just passionate about sports.”
Bieber was also mentoring Brody Hinz, 18, the team statistician and radio station intern who died in the crash, Lydon Frieson [url=http://www.seahawkscheapstore.com/patrick-kerney-jersey-cheap]Patrick Kerney Jersey[/url] , president of Golden West Radio, said in a statement posted on the station’s website.
”Tragedy has hit our community and it reaches into every corner of life in Humboldt,” Frieson said.
Bieber also coached the Humboldt high school’s basketball and football teams, Wilson said.
GIVING LIFE TO OTHERS
Logan Boulet signed his organ dono Ask Leighton Vander Esch about his improbable path from eight-man high school football to first-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys, and the rookie linebacker is quick with a retort of never being fazed by brighter lights or bigger cities.
Ask the former Boise State walk-on what he does to relax, and Vander Esch stares silently as his smile grows.
"Uh," he said Friday, the first day of rookie minicamp. "I don't even know."
Maybe that helps explain his rise to Mountain West Conference defensive player of the year and his showing at the combine and other workouts that stood out to new Dallas linebackers coach Ben Bloom. The Cowboys drafted Vander Esch 19th overall two weeks ago.
"It's kind of hard for me to relax, honestly," said Vander Esch, who signed an $11.8 million, four-year deal later Friday. "At this point, expectations are so high there's no time to relax. There's no days off. You've just got to keep trucking away."
Linebacker was one of the primary needs for Dallas going into the draft because of Sean Lee's history of injuries, Jaylon Smith's continuing recovery from a serious college knee injury and Anthony Hitchens' departure in free agency.
The Cowboys hadn't drafted a linebacker in the first round since Bobby Carpenter 12 years ago in almost the same spot (18th). Carpenter didn't get a second contract, leaving Dallas after four years in a career that ended after seven seasons. He never had more than 37 tackles.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is already talking rotation with Lee, Smith and Vander Esch for two spots. If Lee stays healthy, that's more likely to mean shared time between Vander Esch and Smith, a second-round pick in 2016.
Smith didn't play as a rookie while recovering from the devastating injury during his final game at Notre Dame and was inconsistent last season, particularly early in the year when he was playing more than expected after Hitchens injured a knee in the preseason.
"We're going to play the best guys," Bloom said. "Everybody linebacker in the room has the ability to play at least two positions. We'll get the best guys on the field and they'll be asked to have multiple positions."
Lee's best fit is weakside linebacker, but he's missed at least one game because of injury in seven of his eight seasons. The only exception was his All-Pro year in 2016.
Vander Esch considers himself a middle linebacker and flatly denied a report from before the draft that a neck injury sustained at Boise had prompted some NFL teams to downgrade him on draft boards. Regardless [url=http://www.raiderscheapstore.com/marcus-gilchrist-jersey-cheap]Marcus Gilchrist Jersey[/url] , the Cowboys weren't one of those teams.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones likes to compare Vander Esch to Rolando McClain, a first-round flameout in Oakland who had the best year of his career in 2014 in helping the Cowboys to just their second playoff win since their last Super Bowl title following the 1995 season.
Size would be a good place to start with that connection. McClain was 6-foot-4, same as Vander Esch, with an almost identical listed weight. The rookie is listed at 256.
"There's always pressure to perform," Vander Esch said. "Obviously this is the biggest level now so there's even more of it. You've just got to relax yourself and go out and do what you do."
After helping Salmon River High School in Riggins, Idaho, to a pair of state titles, Vander Esch walked on at Boise, about 150 miles south of his hometown. After a redshirt year, he progressed fast enough to bypass his senior season and enter the draft.
"You've got to be able to adapt quick no matter what," Vander Esch said. "You've got to able to take on anything and not worry about it, not stress yourself out, not get all flustered with it."
With his focus so much on football, Vander Esch didn't mind getting flustered over a question about what he does for fun.
NOTES: DT Maliek Collins is likely out until training camp after breaking a bone in his left foot Thursday during offseason workouts at the team's practice facility. He is expected to have his second surgery on that foot since January. The first procedure was for a stress reaction that bothered him last season, although he didn't miss any games. ... WR Terrance Williams, who broke a bone in his right foot in January, has been working on the side with trainers. Coach Jason Garrett said his recovery is on schedule, which likely means a return at training camp.
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