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Predators Award February Hockey Recognition to Jones of Youth, Inc. and Neiman of NYHL

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators introduce the third 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 of the Month and a Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month each month during the 2007-08 regular hockey season. 

During a ceremony held prior to the Nashville Predators’ February 5 home game against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Predators organization announced that Jason Jones and Pete Nieman were named Youth Hockey Player and Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month, respectively, for February.  Jones and Nieman 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.

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Jones, February Player of the Month, is 14, and plays center for the Bantam Wings and Bantam All-Stars teams, which are a part of the Youth, Inc. Inline Hockey League and the Nashville Youth Hockey League, that plays in Nashville.  Jones began playing roller hockey when he was 8 years old and now plays both roller and ice hockey.  Several years ago, Jason’s dad took him to his first Preds game, which happened to be the same game that Wayne Gretzky set a record for goals and thus began his love for the sport of hockey.  When it came time for little-league baseball sign-ups, Jones decided that he would rather play hockey instead.

With as little as six hockey seasons in his hockey career, Jones epitomizes the meaning of true youth leadership.  “He is a very quiet kid, but is a leader,” says his father.  Jason is the assistant captain on his “rec” team and leads by example.

Jones was nominated by Wings Coach Duane Muhsman.  “Every time this young man is on the rink, whether it is ice or inline hockey, he brings the same passion for hockey.  Jason plays as hard on the last shift as he does on the first.  He is a quiet leader for his teams as he leads by example through demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship and a very high respect for the game, the coaches, his teammates and the opponent”.  Coach Muhsman says that Jason always shows exemplary behavior and conduct, on and off the rink, which not only makes him a very good hockey player, but also a very respectable young man in the community and for this, the Nashville Predators has recognized Jason Jones as the February Youth Hockey Player!

The Nashville Predators are also proud to have named Pete Nieman as the February Youth Hockey Volunteer.  Nieman is the House League Coordinator and coach for the Squirt Bruins and the Squirt All-Star teams, which are part of the Nashville Youth Hockey League that plays at Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville.  Nieman also volunteers his time to help assistant coach with the Father Ryan High School hockey team.

Nieman grew up playing hockey on the East Coast in Boston, Massachusetts.  He began coaching out east in 1997, and then moved to Nashville in 2001 and began coaching at the Centennial Sportsplex.  He enjoys helping kids learn and grow with the game and hopes that eventually, they will become the next generation of hockey coaches.

Nieman was nominated by fellow NYHL Coach, Mark Faulkner.  According to Mark, “Pete’s commitment to youth hockey, skill development, kids having fun and learning to love the game of hockey has been tireless.  He devotes countless hours to the betterment of all levels of youth hockey.” Coach Faulkner has seen Nieman demonstrate the values of good sportsmanship, self-discipline, upbeat motivation and gentlemanly behavior and for this, the Nashville Predators have recognized him as the February 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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