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Preds tap Dec. youth player, volunteer

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

Jessica Haller, Scottie Upshall and James Kimble
Photo by Andee Boiman
During a Dec. 12 ceremony, Predators forward Scottie Upshall presented plaques to Jessica Haller (left) and James Kimble (right) for their contributions to the local youth hockey community.

Building on the success of its inaugural year, the Nashville Predators have once again introduced their youth community initiative that regularly recognizes a player and a volunteer in the Nashville area who demonstrate character skills that make youth hockey a better experience for all involved. The Predators organization will recognize a Youth Hockey Player of the Month and a Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month in the Nashville area throughout the 2006-2007 regular hockey season.

During a ceremony held prior to Nashville's December 12th home game against the Edmonton Oilers, the Predators organization announced that Jessica Haller and James Kimble had been named Youth Hockey Player of the Month and Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month, respectively, for December. Haller and Kimble were each presented with a plaque recognizing their efforts on behalf of the Predators during the ceremony.

Haller, 12, plays goaltender for the Red Wings, which is part of Middle Tennessee Inline. The association plays at Mt. Juliet Skate Inn in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. Not only is she an extraordinary goaltender, she is an exceptional team leader. After watching her younger brother play hockey, she became very interested in the sport. After some wise counsel from her parents, she began to play too. Not only is she a leader on the rink, winning "Goalie of the Season" each of the past three seasons, but she is also a leader in the locker room. 

Along with her star sportsmanship, Haller leads her team, win or lose. She consistently encourages her team on. Always sporting a smile, Haller is a die-hard hockey fan and loves to play the game. While improving her game each year, she also finds the time to help teach the younger players in the MTI how to play the game.

Jessica Haller
Goaltender Jessica Haller, 12, was selected by the Nashville Predators as the Youth Hockey Player of the Month for December.

Haller was nominated by Middle Tennessee Inline president Duane Muhsman. "She is a very fine goaltender but an even better young lady," says Muhsman. "Jessie's smile and sweet disposition, along with her fierce competitiveness, are some of the trademarks that make our league what it is!  Jessie is what youth hockey is all about." For these qualities and contributions, the Nashville Predators have recognized her as the December Youth Hockey Player of the Month.

The Nashville Predators are also proud to have named James Kimble as the December Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month.  Kimble is a board member and a coach for the Hendersonville Inline Hockey Association that plays out of Veteran's Park in Hendersonville. In addition, Kimble is also the Referee in Chief for the HIHA.

Dedicating his time to all age levels from mite to college level hockey, Kimble also spends his time training young officials. Kimble preaches the importance of respect, appropriate conduct and behavior, and keeping a positive attitude. By gaining respect from those who have been coached or refereed by him, he has helped the sport of hockey grow and develop in the HIHA.

Kimble was nominated by friend Phil Buntin. According to Buntin, "The growth of HIHA over the past years is in no small part due to James’ work and dedication." As a result, the Nashville Predators have recognized him as the December Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month.

For more information on the Predators hockey recognition program, or to nominate a player, volunteer or team making a difference in a Nashville area youth hockey community, visit the Local Hockey Recognition Page in the Play Hockey section.


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