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Predators Award December Hockey Recognition to Taylor of the Southern Flyers and Rathert of GNASH

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators introduce the fourth season of a program to recognize players and volunteers in the Nashville area who demonstrate character skills that make youth hockey a better experience for all involved. The Nashville Predators will recognize a Youth Hockey Player and a Youth Hockey Volunteer each month during the 2009-10 regular hockey season.

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During a ceremony held prior to the Nashville Predators’ December 15 home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Predators organization announced that Jackson Taylor and Tim Rathert were named Youth Hockey Player and Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month, respectively, for December. Taylor and Rathert were presented with a plaque recognizing their efforts on behalf of the Predators during the ceremony. The two were nominated and selected as part of a Predators hockey development initiative that will regularly recognize a player and volunteer in the Nashville area.

Taylor, December Player of the Month, is 9, and plays defense for NYHL Southern Flyers, who play at Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville. The third grader from Rock Springs Elementary School in Smyrna played in his first hockey game right before turning four years old. After playing for five year’s Taylor’s dad Mark says his son lives and breaths the sport.

Taylor first picked up the sport from his four older cousins while living in Florida. While his cousins were much older than him their love for the game quickly rubbed off on Taylor. Taylor has now been apart of four championship teams including just recently winning the Silver Stick Tournament in Huntsville. Taylor is known on the ice for his speed and dedication to the sport.

Taylor idolizes Nashville’s own Ryan Suter and tries to mirror his defensive skills off those of Suter’s. Taylor is known to spend hours watching Suter play through various videos online. Also while on ice Taylor is always sporting the number 20. Taylor’s passion for playing as a young athlete is why the Nashville Predators have recognized Jackson Taylor as the December Youth Hockey Player!

The Nashville Predators are also proud to have named Tim Rathert as the December Youth Hockey Volunteer. Rathert is head coach of the Hendersonville High School hockey team in the Greater Nashville Area Scholastic Hockey League as well as the NYHL Mites Kings who play at Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville.

Rathert has been involved in youth hockey for over 17 years. His involvement started with his own kids but due to his love of what he calls “the greatest game ever”, he has decided to help coach many other youths in the area.  Rathert loves the chance to teach kids about the sport and finds this very rewarding and fulfilling.

Rathert’s Assistant Coach Patrick Burke stated, “Tim's coaching philosophy is that he is 100% committed to making every player on his teams an impact player. He puts in the time, especially with less experienced or less skilled players, to teach them the skills they need to be a real and valuable part of the team. He then finds ways to incorporate these players into the overall game plan, so that they are a part of every win.”

While juggling a family and a job Rathert has always found time to coach; at points in his life up to three teams at one time. Currently while spending the majority of his time with the Hendersonville Commandos, he finds his dedication of time a way to help young men not only on the ice but off as well. “This is an opportunity to teach young men to grow, work together as a team, push themselves and learn the skills to be successful young men.” For this and all the hard work Rathert does, the Nashville Predators have recognized him as the December Youth Hockey Volunteer!

For more information on the Predators hockey recognition program, or to nominate a player, volunteer or team making a difference in a youth hockey community, visit Predators Hockey Recognition and nominate someone today!

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