Susquehanna Stampede High School Hockey’s Trent Alba is one of the three finalists up for the CPIHL Justin Yingling Memorial Award. And if you ask his coaches, they will tell you there are a plethora of reasons why Alba is deserving of this award.
“Trent is a special player and person,” they said. “His outstanding dedication to our team, the sport of hockey, our club and the CPIHL are exemplary. Trent also performs at a high level, and he demonstrates an ongoing commitment to excellence in his play and leadership.”
Alba is a senior, and he has played his entire career for the Susquehanna Stampede Youth Hockey Club. From his mite days all the way up through his high school days, Alba has shown nothing short of dedication to his hometown team.
In fact, it is this dedication – along with his leadership – that led him to being named the captain of the Stampede. His coaches said that he is not only constantly working to improve his game, but he helps improve the games of others. He volunteers for the club’s “learn to skate” and “try hockey for free” programs, and he is paying it forward with his contributions.
“He has a love for the game that is infectious and makes practice fun for our younger players and his teammates alike,” his coaches said. “Trent also demonstrates a respect for the game. He understands the rules and was chosen as our leader partly due to his ability to respect his opponents, coaches and officials. He plays very hard, but is never looking to harm or disrespect anyone, and he models kindness and grace for all of our players.”
On top of this, Alba spends a lot of time encouraging and uplifting his teammates. Even if they have a bad shift or a bad game, he is never one to blame anyone, but at the same time he is constantly pushing his teammates in a way that makes them want to improve and play better. He never angers his teammates, nor does he get angry with his teammates, and he is what you call a “coach on the ice.”
When you have a player like this on your team, it makes the coaching staff’s jobs that much easier. They know they have a leader who is going to light a fire into his teammates in a way that coaches cannot, and that is something his coaches have always liked about him.
“Trent’s commitment to his teammates was never more evident than last year when our 16U travel tournament team needed a goalie,” the Stampede staff said. “Although Trent had very little experience in net, he volunteered to play for that team, took a one-week crash course and practiced hard. His efforts eventually led that team to a tournament championship, and Trent’s performance was very strong. Opposing coaches at the tournament commented on Trent’s good goalie play, and they were surprised to hear that he was new to the position.”
To be able to pick up a new position in such a short period of time is commendable. But to pick up one of the toughest positions in any sport in seven days is something that only a player like Alba can do with excellence.
But then again, there are not too many hockey players who are as fully committed as Alba. And that says a lot about Alba, because hockey players are very committed to their sport and compete at a high level.
Alba is a “real student of the game,” and as a defensive leader he has a real vision for the game and what is going on in real time. He can call out what is happening on the ice when he is on it – and when he is on the bench – and this helps his team adjust effectively throughout the course of their games.
“He is also among the best on our team at managing difficult moments and assisting his teammates in finding the appropriate level of humility and resiliency when they are under pressure,” Alba’s coaches said. “Trent is a very strong defensemen, leading our team in keeping opponents to a league lead in the least goals against. Trent has also become adept at setting up plays and his point total is among our team leaders.”
Alba is a representative of the Stampede and of CPIHL hockey in general. He is the complete embodiment of a captain in a sport, and he is certainly someone who shows what the Yingling Awards is all about.
“There is no doubt that Trent will go on to do great things after he graduates from high school, and we assure you that you would be proud to have a connection to him moving forward,” his coaches mentioned.
He wants to take his leadership skills to the next level by becoming a Pennsylvania State Trooper, and that is a goal his coaches know he will be more than capable of achieving. But for now, they are just happy to have him representing the Susquehanna Stampede in a great way: as a finalist for the biggest individual award in the Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League.
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