Editor's Note:Northern Life?'s Coach of the Year for 2001 is Ingrid Mackin, 19. She is an accomplished horseman and inspires other young riders .This year's contest received a huge response. We thought readers would enjoy reading some of the nominations.
Cheers for Lauri Ihamaki
Jacob Costanzi says: Lauri Ihamaki has coached me since I was seven years old in tyke in Copper Cliff Minor Hockey Association. He has been my coach for baseball for two successful years. Now he coaches me for the Sudbury Minor Hockey League Lockerby Confectionary Wolves Minor Peewee AA.
He encourages us to do our best and to work hard because it always pays off. He doesn't care if we win or lose only if we worked hard. He always respects everyone always no matter what. He works us hard in practice to build confidence in us for games. He teaches us how to play hockey and baseball properly. He wants us to think of others and encourages us to play as a team. He makes us feel comfortable to talk to him about anything. I think he is a great coach and he really deserves this award a lot.
Daniel Young says: I would like to nominate Lauri Ihamaki for coach of the year. I find him a good coach because he will never bring back something you have done in the past. He is smart and intelligent in what he teaches our team. His practices are made to work on our weaknesses. I also find him a good coach because he'd rather see teamwork than individual effort. He was also my baseball coach this past year. Our baseball team improved with his coaching to put us in second place in the playoffs. I am having the best year of my life in a long time. That is why I want to nominate Coach Lauri Ihamaki for coach of the year.
Colin Duncan says: I am one of the goalies on the Lockerby Confectionary Wolves AA Minor PeeWee team.
I would like to recommend Lauri Ihamaki as 2002 coach of the year. He pays attention to how hard I try in the net, not how many goals get past me. When he points out what I can do to improve, he always also tells me what I am doing well. He encourages our team to work together. He does not want us to play as individuals. Even during the early morning practices, when I am not really awake, I am glad to be on the ice with coach Ihamaki because I know I am lucky to have him in my life. In the spring and summer, he also coaches me in baseball with the Sudbury Minor Baseball Association.
Ask anyone on our team or any of the parents and they will agree with me that he should be coach of the year.
Andrew Lessard says: I think the coach of the year for 2002 should be Lauri Ihamaki. He coaches myself, and 15 others the game of hockey. This is his third year coaching me going back to when I was a tiny eight-year old.
I think he should win this award because he is a good role model to the players as he spent many years at an elite hockey college (St. Michael's in Toronto) playing major junior hockey. Also he tries to develop his players by pushing them hard at the end of a long skating drill, when their legs feel like rubber, to build endurance. After a loss he would not be upset at his players, instead he would treat it as if we had won and encourage his players to try and win next time. Ihamaki treats all of his players the same and never benches anyone or changes his goalie unless they are being shell-shocked. Also, he stresses the importance of fun in the game and always does a good job of calming the players after a bad shift or game.
Finally, he puts in long hours preparing and planning practices, and getting a pep talk set for a big upcoming game. His efforts show as we are currently in third place and climbing the ladder hurriedly. Mr. Ihamaki (coach), Mr. Mulloy (assistant coach), Mr. Young (manager), and Mr. Lessard (trainer) all put in a great deal of effort throughout the season, and though not getting paid a cent, work day and night for the Lockerby Confectionary Wolves. They should be rewarded for their effort and work ethic throughout the long hockey season.
Erik White says: I would like to nominate my hockey coach Lauri Ihamaki as coach of the year. I am nominating him because he puts uncountable hours into our hockey team. He works with 16 hockey players plus three other team officials.
He also teaches us new tactics and helps remember the other ones. He works us hard but we know it's the only way we will improve. Also if one person doesn't understand something, instead of yelling, he listens to what the player tells him and shows them how it is done properly.
He never yells at us for making mistakes. He shows us how to correct them and do better next time. Personally he has taught me many new things. He also helps everybody else. Lauri Ihamaki is the head coach of the Lockerby Confectionary Wolves Minor Peewee hockey team.
Justin Gareau says: Lauri Ihamaki is for sure one of the best coaches I have ever had. Ever since the try-outs, I have found him an amazing coach. Every game or practice he is ready to make us, the players work very hard to try to win, and of course, have fun. Even though I only had him for a couple months I can tell you right now he will give you every trick he possibly knows to try and make you the very best you can be. He will try, and try, and try and never give up until you get it. I could tell you many more good things about my coach but I think I have given you the most important part of him.
Graeme Wilson says: I think the coach of the year should be Lauri Ihamaki of the Minor Peewee Lockerby Wolves. I have played on Lauri's team for many years. He has always been a good coach and he pushes you to the last even when there is no hope to advance. He always has taught us to be good citizens.
He makes sure we are respectful. His practices always have a purpose and he does not get mad at his players. He tries not to get mad at the refs and he rarely ever does.
He is always helping and gets very concerned if there is something wrong. He has worked so hard for my teammates and I for many years and I think it would be very nice if our coach would get the honour of coach of the year.