Cole Beckstead says he was honoured to be recognized as his team’s MVP at the recent Rideau-St. Lawrence AA Kings awards night, and he was deeply honoured to be named the association’s “Player of the Year”.
As the association’s “Player of the Year”, Cole, who was a member of the Kings Major Bantam team this past hockey season, received the prestigious Richard M. Beattie Memorial Trophy.
Coming off a season that saw him rack up 46 points in 30 games (12 goals and 34 assists) for a fifth place league scoring finish) Colesays, he suspected he might be in the running for his team’s MVP award, but to win the Beattie Award, “I was really surprised.”
Cole was selected as the Player of the Year from nominations submitted by each of the teams in the Kings organization.
According to the nomination material submitted, Cole was the Major Bantam’s nomination, “not simply as a result of his significant contribution on the ice, but also in recognition of his enhanced skill development, the leadership he has provided to his team/teammates and to acknowledge his contribution to all aspects of this 2012/13 hockey season. From the very first try-out session, Cole has impressed coaches, players and parents with his positive outlook and optimistic approach to the game…In fact his commitment to improve his skill sets, his obvious work ethic, and his position to take nothing for granted easily place him among the most effective hockey players within the Bantam Division of the Eastern Ontario Minor Hockey League.”
“Cole’s on ice skill sets (puck handling, play making, back-checking and scoring) have improved so significantly since last season that he is now considered one of the most prolific players in the OEMHL and is a scoring threat each and every time he enters the ice surface.”
“It was my best season by far,” says Cole, 14, who lives in Morrisburg and is a Grade 9 student at St. Joseph’s High School in Cornwall. “I trained a lot harder in the summer (2012) and once my brother (Marc who was a rookie with the OHL’s Kingston Frontenac’s this past season) left, I continued to train.”
Actually, Cole’s road to his fantastic hockey season began with a lifestyle change. Encouraged by his brother Marc’s success, Cole changed his eating habits and began his workouts. The combination resulted in a loss of 25-30 pounds.
“I watched what I ate, but it was mostly the training. I focused on muscle gain, and I really worked on my legs. I’m not that tall, so I have to rely on my speed,” says Cole.
Cole quickly found that he had a lot more energy and a lot more drive. Once the hockey season got underway, “I worked harder in practises, and I continued to watch what I ate.”
“He was the talk of the tryouts,” says a very proud dad, Ernie. “Nobody could believe the change.”
And all his hard work and dedication continues to pay off for the talented centreman. Last weekend, he attended the under 16 Prospects Camp in Ottawa, where he hopes will lead to a position with a team being chosen to go to the Chowder Cup in Boston. He also has an opportunity to play hockey in Europe this coming summer with an elite team.
Cole says he plans to continue to work out with brother Marc over the summer and will skate twice a week in Ottawa to prepare for tryouts with the AAA Minor Midget Cyclones in the fall.
He says his big brother is his inspiration…but can’t resist getting in a friendly, brotherly, dig…Marc’s name is not on the Beattie Trophy.