During a ceremony held prior to the Nashville Predators' November 15 home game against the Los Angeles Kings, the Predators organization announced that Micheal Hurst and Jeff Fox had been named Youth Hockey Player of the Month and Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month, respectively, for November. The two were nominated and selected as part of a new program created by the Predators that will regularly recognize a player and a volunteer in the Nashville area who demonstrate character skills that make youth hockey a better experience for all involved.
Hurst, the November Player of the Month, is 15 and plays right wing for Harpeth High School's inline hockey team, which is part of the Youth Incorporated roller hockey league. Hurst started playing organized hockey two years ago. Since then he has gone from struggling to skate to scoring hat tricks. During an initial skills assessment, he noticed the particular areas he needed to work on to become a better hockey player. He then focused on improving steadily, practicing on his own to become the excellent hockey player that he is today.
In addition to showing tremendous drive and determination as a player, Hurst also has worked hard in becoming a certified referee. He officiates youth inline hockey games on the weekends when he is not playing and often spends entire Saturdays at the Bellevue rink where he plays and officiates. Hurst was nominated by family friend Gerald Nidiffer. Although still young, Hurst has truly made an impact in the Nashville area youth hockey community and for this, the Nashville Predators have recognized him the November Youth Hockey Player of the Month.
The Nashville Predators are also proud to have named Jeff Fox as the November Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month. Coach Fox, as he is affectionately called by his players, coaches the Bellevue Predators 14-and-under inline hockey team. The Bellevue Predators are also a member of the Youth Incorporated organization.
Fox acts as a mentor to his players, always maintaining a positive, encouraging outlook both inside and outside of the hockey rink. The example that he sets has fostered an environment where his players look to make the most out of every opportunity, both in hockey and in life.
He has been involved in the Youth Incorporated program for just under 10 years, and in that time he has coached players with a wide range of skill levels and ages while maintaining his characteristic positive attitude. He has shown a sincere dedication to both his team as well as the individual players. If a player could not afford the equipment necessary to play, Fox found the means necessary for the player to play. He encourages the players to always do their best, to set goals and reach for those goals both on and off the ice. Additionally, in order to encourage the growth of hockey in the Nashville area, Fox arranges and participates in pickup roller hockey games for kids during the weekends. These pickup games not only spur an interest in hockey but also provide a productive and value-focused activity for kids who otherwise may not have the opportunity to participate in such a program.
Ultimately it is Fox's positive attitude and drive to assist and improve each of his players on an individual basis that have truly made an impact in the local youth hockey community. For these efforts he has been recognized by the Predators as the Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month for November. Fox was nominated by hockey parent Sharon Marti, mother of a winger and a goalie on Fox's Bellevue Predators.
In addition to being introduced and presented with plaques before the November 15 Predators game, both Hurst and Fox will be spotlighted on the Local Hockey Recognition page of the Predators Web site and in the Predators' Saber Tooth Times publication.
For more information on the local hockey recognition program, or to nominate someone who is making a difference in a Nashville area youth hockey community, visit the Local Hockey Recognition page.