A year ago today our community suffered an unfathomable loss.
Our young Northumberland Nighthawk; Cormac Kerin was killed in a tragic accident, which also left his younger sister Shea with critical injuries.
December 2nd, started much like every other for all of our families, the hustle and bustle of waking up, getting lunches packed, and racing out the door to start the school day.
That day came to an abrupt halt for the Kerins, our community, our hockey families and our children.
We all sat motionless when we heard the horrible news. We simply couldn't process that such an unthinkable tragedy had taken place in our tight knit community. We cried, we hugged our kids, we poured our sympathies to the Kerin family and we began to grieve a tremendous loss.
The Nighthawk players took to the ice that evening and supported each other like only teammates and friends could. Their strength was impressive and we will forever be proud of how they came together and put their arms around each other.
I remember calling Cormac's coaches that day to talk with them, only to learn that Cormac had just played his first game of the season the night before. His coach told me that Cormac said: "I'm a Defenceman, but I will play wherever you need me". He went out to hustle that game and set up two spectacular goals for his linemates. He left the arena smiling!
As we always seem to do, we rallied around each other in the following weeks. The Cobourg Cougars, the Port Hope Panthers and the Humbolt Broncos teams all reached out to lend support and shoulders to lean on. Our players, and hockey players from all over, lined their front porches with hockey sticks in memory of Cormac. Several of our teams joined together and solemnly lined the streets at the funeral procession to say goodbye to their teammate and friend.
A year has passed and Cormac is certainly still, very much in all of our hearts.
Last weekend the Kerin Family graciously joined us at the Silver Stick Opening Ceremony to begin our prestigious tournament and to share in our memory of Cormac.
The Nighthawks and the visiting team all wore Cormac stickers on their helmets, the building quietly remembered during the moment of silence and we all watched in awe while Shea participated in the ceremonial puck drop. This little girl is the epitome of a fighter. She has surpassed all expectations and continues to astound everyone with her strength and perseverance as she continues on her road to recovery.
Cormac was consistently described as a quiet, hardworking, sweet boy who was always there for his teammates. At the end of this season, the Nighthawks look forward to acknowledging a player(s) in our association who possess similar qualities to Cormac, qualities that helped to make him the "ideal" teammate.
Life is precious, moments are never promised, and everything can change in an instant.
This evening, let our entire Nighthawks family come together. Place your hockey sticks at the front door, and remember #17 - Cormac Kerin.
Love to you all,