Smooth skating Whitehawk paying dividends in rookie season
By Jadon Frank
Rookie centre Branden Whitehawk stormed onto the scene for the Briercrest hockey team this season with a goal in each of the first three regular season games.
The smooth skating and soft handed stick handler has already had an impact this season, currently sitting third on the team with six points and second on the team with four goals.
The 5’ 9” student-athlete looks at his strengths as one’s that complement other people.
“I am very outgoing and accepting,” Whitehawk said. “I show everyone respect. I bring a lot of speed and play making to the team, I like to score. In the dressing room I’m a very laid back guy who stays positive.”
Head coach Dalton Stoltz has been impressed with the skill that Whitehawk brings to the Briercrest team this season.
“Branden has more offensive upside than most players,” Stoltz said. “He has a nose for the net and knows how to score. He’s a great play maker, and a great player.”
Whitehawk, who calls Kamsack, Saskatchewan home, came for hockey, but has enjoyed his overall experience at Briercrest so far.
“I was recruited to play at Briercrest, and I had a lot of interest in the hockey program here,” Whitehawk said. “My greatest moment in life so far, athletically, was lacing them up for Briercrest. My favourite moment at Briercrest was scoring the first goal during our home opener. Meeting new people and making friends.”
The general studies student has noticed unique characteristics in his team this season.
“What’s special about the team here at Briercrest is that we all get along,” Whitehawk said. “We are young and most of us are learning what it takes to play at the college level together. We support one another.”
Whitehawk, who played for the Ochapowace Thunder prior to coming to Briercrest, has simple goals for his time at Briercrest.
“My goals as a student are to simply maintain good grades and continue playing hockey,” said Whitehawk. “As an athlete I want to become faster and stronger, and to keep putting up points.”
Coach Stoltz is excited at the thought of having Whitehawk wearing a Briercrest uniform for years to come.
“He has so much potential to be a consistent goal scorer,” Stoltz said,
Though only beginning his time at Briercrest, Whitehawk has thoughts about where he sees his future after his career ends.
“I want to get into the trades and hopefully get married,” Whitehawk said. “If money wasn’t an option, I would play hockey until my body couldn’t play anymore. If I could do anything to make the world better it would be to expose corruption around the world.”
Whitehawk’s grandfather had a big influence on his life.
“My late grandfather had the greatest influence on my life,” Whitehawk said. “He raised me, and taught me to be a good person.”
He also encouraged his grandson to play, “60 minutes.”
The rookie centre followed that up by saying, “don’t sell yourself short or let go of dreams.”