Coach of the Week – Alex Moretti

Congratulations Alex Moretti, our latest Coach of the Week. Below is the email we received from Byron, telling us why Alex was so deserving of this award.


I would like to nominate Alex Moretti coach of the Edmonton Drillers Youth Soccer Club U18 Boys team as coach of the week.

Alex took over this team over 2 years ago and has molded them into a highly competitive group of young men . The team had almost folded at the time Alex had taken over as coach and had been struggling to remain competitive in games . Since that time Alex has molded these now young men into a highly competitive team that recently won a silver medal at the Seattle Sounders FC Cup in July before losing to an all star team from BC in a close game.

Alex is a very supportive coach to these men and has a way of teaching and challenging them through constructive criticism and yet giving them confidence to strive to be better . He holds them accountable to themselves and their teammates . It has been reflective in their play over these last few years. Alex has continued to support these young men through challenges they have off the field as some of these boys are paying their own club fees in order to play soccer . Alex has sacrificed many things in his life to continue to coach these boys , including changing his work schedule to make practices and games as his job requires extensive travel , paying for his own tournament expenses in order that some of these boys can participate as well as missing his own family commitments as a father of 3 children himself. Alex has also done all of this without the support of an assistant coach which is extremely difficult to do in a team sport like soccer.

On behalf of the players and parents I would like to nominate Alex Moretti as coach of the week

Byron Prochnau

If you would like to nominate a deserving coach to be Coach of the Week, email

Coach of the Week – Nathan Papirny

Congratulations Nathan Papirny, our Elite Sporswear Coach of the Week.

We received a tearjerker of a letter from Nancy, explaining just why Nathan truly deserves this award.


I would like to nominate Nathan Papirny from the South Side Athletic Club (SSAC), Don Wheaton Midget AA hockey team.

Nate was my son, Cam’s head coach during the 2011/12 season . I was impressed with him from the moment the team hit the ice at the start of the year. He was very clear on what he expected from his players, from his bench staff, and from parents. The team came together really early in the season and the boys all liked playing with each other and for each other — they were having fun. In club hockey, you don’t always see a coach roll all lines; however, Nate looked at the development of players and insisted that he chose character players for various reasons and roles. This meant that everyone saw the ice regularly every game and everyone improved throughout the season as a result.

To say this team went from tragedy to triumph is an understatement. In November, one of our players and assistant captain, Kyle Fundytus, was fatally injured during a hockey game while blocking a shot. When Kyle was taken from the rink to the hospital, Nathan sat at the hospital with the family while the rest of us prayed for a miracle. He pulled the team together the next morning breaking the news that Kyle didn’t survive his injuries. Nathan demonstrated Leadership like no other that day — all while his wife was at home expecting the arrival of their second child at any moment. The team mourned the loss of their team mate and friend together. Nate went above and beyond the call of duty of what any of us would have expected him to do. He participated in press conferences, supported the family, supported the team (players, coaches, and families). He cancelled all upcoming games/practices and told the boys that it was up to them when/if they wanted to return to the ice. He continued to support the boys when they decided that returning to the ice was essential in their healing process. They decided that they would return at the end of November to play their first game back against the other SSAC Lakewood Midget AA team and that it would be a fundraiser for the memorial scholarship created in memory of their lost friend/player. The day before this game was to occur, the Lakewood’s team bus crashed while on a road trip and almost every player was injured (various degrees). Once again, Nate communicated with everyone on the team, providing regular updates on the medical conditions of their friends from the other team (thankfully, everyone is expected to fully recover from these injuries).

It turned out that our first game back was for a tournament in Banff. The boys had skated a few times at practice to get the rust out, but we weren’t sure what to expect. This was a very emotional return. Prior to our first game on the Friday vs. Spokane, there were many tears in the dressing room. Spokane was a good team, but we were better and won 5-2. The next day would be even more emotional as we were playing the Maple Leaf Athletic Club (MLAC) and it was against this team that we were playing the day of the tragedy. The MLAC team was emotional too. We were down 4-2 after the 2nd period, but somehow came back in the 3rd to win 5-4. Now we are playing Sunday for the tournament win against Airdrie. They were a BIG team, with a HUGE goalie. We were evenly matched and it was close throughout the entire game: 1-1, 2-1, 2-2 — back and forth all game. Lots of scoring chances both ways, but both teams had great goaltending. Then with 2 1/2 mins left in the game Airdrie scored to make it 3-2. We (in the stands) were crushed, but not the boys! In the last 2 1/2 minutes they somehow found a way to score 3 goals to win 5-3! Even the dads in the stands were crying and hugging each other. This team simply just refused to lose. Nathan told the players that they were playing with “too many men” all weekend. We all believed it!

Our season finished strong — not winning the league, but playing with such determination and emotion. Nate turned out to be so much more than a hockey coach to these young men. He is a mentor and a role model; someone you want your boys to grow up to be; someone you want your daughters to marry. Soon the 2012/13 hockey season will start. Nathan will once again choose his team based not just on skill, but on character. I don’t wish a season such as the one we had on any other person, but for the players chosen for this upcoming team, may you enjoy your time spent with Nate and his assistant coaching staff and learn all you can from them.

Thank you so much for your consideration of my nomination. I can’t think of anyone more deserving.


Nancy Toma

If you would like to get your coach recognized, email

Coach of the Week – Jason Arnold

Congratulations Jason Arnold, our latest Elite Sportswear Coach of the Week winner. Below is the email we received from Tristan Waldock, telling us why Jason was so deserving of this award.

Hey mate, I was wanting to nominate some one for coach of the week, Jason Arnold. He is the coaching Director here in Edmonton for the Edmonton Australian Rules Football Club.

Jason has come on board with us this year and has lifted our team to the next level. We are only 4 years in and compete against 2 Calgary teams that have been around for 10 years and 5 vancouver teams that have been around for 15 years.

We have a tournament every year in Kelowna. This year we took it, beating all teams and bringing the cup to Edmonton! Its all due to Jason’s hard work, commitment to the club, growing the game here in Canada and building it around Canadians. This year we have 4 guys selected for the National team in the mens and 5 women in the women’s team. This is a first for our club to have any one selected in the national team as there are 25 clubs across Canada, with the biggest league out side Australia being in Ontario.

Another thing that we have achieved is the only Canadian player on the World Aussie Rules team is a local guy that plays here in Edmonton. I would love to talk to about it more and give you more info but a big part of where we are at now is due to this guy.


Tristan Waldock Head Coach AFL Canada Northern Lights

If you would like to nominate a deserving coach, email

Coach of the Week – Aaron Hansen

Congratulations, Aaron Hansen, on being our latest Elite Sportswear Coach of the Week. Below is the email we received, nominating Hansen.

Hi Jason,

I would like to nominate a fellow named Aaron Hansen. Aaron is a young coach with the Mill Woods White Sox Little League team and an assistant with the sherwood park midget AAA Dukes…as well as a part time instructor at St FX baseball academy. Aaron, as of Wednesday, had his team advance to the Little League Nationals as the host team..which is being held in Edmonton in August.

I have known many coaches throughout my time in minor baseball in Edmonton, but never have I met a coach so determined to see his team succeed on so many levels…as friends, as team-mates and in life. He is more than an “x & o” coach and he looks into the players family, social and personal situation and more often than not he is able to get more out of the child both athletically and in day to day life. He has truly changed my child’s life. Coaches like this need to be honoured in anyway possible….so often its a thankless jobs but Aaron is truly one of the special ones and this nomination is my way of saying thank you…for being there for my family and for everyone else’s. HIs heart is huge, his knowledge of the game limitless and his passion unmeasurable.

This is a brief synopsis of him- a truly special person.

Thank you,


If you would like to nominate a deserving coach, email

Coach of the Week – Rick Reiter

Congratulations, Rick Reiter, on being our latest Elite Sportswear Coach of the Week. Read why Rick was so deserving of his award.


I would like to nominate our Edmonton minor ball hockey coach, Rick Reiter, as coach of the week.

Rick has been coaching most of the boys on the current team since 1st year novice and now for the last two years in Atom. He is the ultimate coach that kids love to play with and for. He does exhibit very high qualities of integrity and has very high level of patience and understanding for the children. He inspires the kids and ultimately gets the highest performance out of all of them – win or lose. He teaches them the life skills such as sportsmanship and respect for others and most of all puts clear priority on having fun and more fun!!. With all the work he does he helps us, the parents, shaping the mental, emotional and physical development of the boys. His hard work and dedication, as well as the steady development of the boys paid ultimate result this past weekend. The Edmonton Atom Retro Oilers competed in the provincials in Calgary and through hard work did win the U10 Alberta Minor Ball Hockey Championship.

On behalf of all the boys and the parents I would like to nominate Rick for his hard work as coach of the week.

Thank you

Mike Dziarmaga

If you would like to nominate a deserving coach, email to get your coach recognized

Coach of the Week – Richard Michael



I’m writing to you about a coach that I feel would be a good choice for coach of the week. His name is Richard Michael and he coaches my son’s ten year old baseball team in north Edmonton. This is my son’s first year in baseball and having Richard has been a blessing to both my son and our family. Richard spends no less than six days per week with not only my son’s team but his other child’s team.

What makes Richard so special and unique is that he spends the extra time with kids often he has optional practices to help kids work on hitting or pitching or just to hit them some fly balls. We are a hockey family for sure, but with the effort that both Richard and his wife have given my son has excelled to the point he made the all-star team this week again due to extra time that Richard spends with my son Reid. I know you have many coaches that deserve this award, I hope you will consider Richard Michael. Coming from a hockey coach, he is one of the true good guys who will stay all hours until the last child is too tired to swing the bat.

Thanks Jason, this is a great idea and way for you and the team to recognize some true community heroes.

Best wishes,

Rick Holmes

Coach of the Week – Rod Ohlhauser

Congrats to your first Elite Sportswear Coach of the Week, Rod Ohlhauser. The following is the email we received outlining what made Rod our first winner.


I would love to tell you about my 9 year old son’s baseball/hockey coach. Aidan has had the privilege of having Rod Ohlhauser as his baseball coach for the last 2 seasons and Novice hockey coach this past winter. Rod does a fantastic job of teaching the kids not only how to be a better player but also keeping the fun in the game.

During baseball season this year, my sons first year in minors, the competition level has been elevated substantially. The kids had to go through an evaluation day so that they could be drafted on to their team. Rod chose many players who were first year minors. At the start of the year this definitely hampered our wins and loses. In my opinion this didn’t matter and thankfully our coach agreed. He simply wanted to continue to work on making the players better and this came through hard work and practice. Rod gets it, at 9 or 10 it’s not about wins and loses it’s about learning the game and building a foundation. As a side note, our playoffs begin tonight and we are currently in 2nd place.

As I mentioned Aidan, my son, was also fortunate enough to have Rod as his Novice hockey coach. The team was tier 2 in the city so there was pressure from parents to compete at a higher level. Keep in mind this is Novice hockey. Again, Rod had the same approach. Progress through hard work and learning skills needed to get better at the game. The team started off slowly but throughout the season they grew stronger and stronger. Rod builds team and individual skills while maintaining a fun atmosphere for the kids. His goal is not wins but instead progression of skills and love of the game. It makes it easy for a parent to turn their child over to another adult for that 1to 2 hours 3i5 times a week when that adult is Rod. He is a great teacher and motivater as well as a great guy. All in all Rod gets it. These are simply young kids who love playing sports and Rod helps to foster that.


Craig Ballance

Congrats Rod and we are proud to honour you as our Elite Sportswear Coach of the Week.

If you want to nominate a coach, send us an email to

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