Former Warriors captain named CHL's Humanitarian of the Year
Sam Fioretti capped his junior hockey career by collecting some hardware Saturday.
© photo courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images
Sam Fioretti, left, from the Moose Jaw Warriors accepts the Canadian Hockey League's Humanitarian of the Year award Saturday in London, Ont.
The Moose Jaw Warriors captain was named the Canadian Hockey League's Humanitarian of the Year.
"It's a huge honour. I've enjoyed my time in Moose Jaw. This award not only shows my contribution to the community, but the team's and how the community has given back to our organization as well," said Fioretti. "If wasn't for the involvement of the community these programs would kind of be useless. They've supported them really well."
Fioretti was involved in the creation of two new community initiatives with the Warriors this season. The Warriors Workouts program saw him and other players go into schools to talk about fitness, health and nutrition. Another program partnered with the Moose Jaw Police Service to go into schools to talk about one of three subjects: bullying, drugs and alcohol or cyber bullying. Most of the talks focused on bullying.
"They're two programs that are close to my heart. We, as athletes, that's kind of our area of expertise to teach kids how to be active," said Fioretti who also won the Warriors' first character, strength and conditioning award. "With the other program, I think everybody can say they knew somebody who has been affected by bullying in one way or another — as I have. So I think that it was important to spread awareness to the kids of Moose Jaw and how to prevent it."
Fioretti scored 20 or more goals in three of his four seasons with the Warriors and finished with 200 career points in 269 regular season games. He also had 12 points in 20 playoff games.
The Calgary product felt he only played a part in earning the national nod.
"It's a team award. If it wasn't for my teammates or the organization these programs never would have happened," said Fioretti. "I think any guy who wore the jersey this year could have accepted this award."
Fioretti found that giving back to the community was its own reward and said meeting children in the community was always a lot of fun.
"The season can be a grind, but it's always nice to get to the schools and see the excitement in kids' faces when we come in," said Fioretti.
Fioretti also won the WHL's Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy as the league's humanitarian of the year to earn the CHL nomination. Charles-David Beaudoin from the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Scott Simmonds from the Belleville Bulls were also nominated from the respective leagues.
Former Warriors captain Spencer Edwards won the CHL's Humanitarian of the Year award in 2011.
"We've always stressed that we're going to give back to the community that supports us so well," said Warriors general manager Alan Millar. "We're proud of Sam. It just tops everything off in terms of the career that he had in his four years with the team. He's an incredible young man."
Millar also praised the work of the front office, notably James Gallo and former employee Marnel Jones for the work they did as a Warriors has won the national humanitarian award twice in four years.
"Their leadership in those areas has been instrumental in terms of those programs," said Millar. "I think it's great for our organization and those community initiatives that we have, that those two special young men (Fioretti and Edwards) have been recognized at that level.
"We want to continue to win humanitarian awards, but we want to throw in some rookie of the years, MVPs, scoring leaders and all-star nods as well. That would be perfect."
Before heading to London, Ont. for the CHL awards, Fioretti formally committed to Acadia University in Nova Scotia.
"It was an exciting time talking to a lot of schools, but I'm excited to move to Wolfville and start that chapter of my life," said Fioretti. "I will probably end up back in Western Canada, likely Calgary, one day. I thought it was a time in my life to experience a different part of Canada."
The Axemen reached the CIS nationals in Saskatoon this past season. Fioretti is hoping to get his education, but hasn't completely given up on his dream of playing pro hockey.
"At the end of the road I hope to have a degree in my back pocket and also have an opportunity to maybe play pro," said Fioretti.