Whitecourt, AB – The Whitecourt Wolverines organization express our deepest condolences to the members of the Humboldt Broncos we lost on Friday night and to their families and friends. We also will continue to keep those who survived and are continuing to battle and fight in our thoughts and prayers along with the entire community of Humboldt, Saskatchewan.
We would also like to express our well wishes and admiration for the first responders who arrived on scene to what was an unimaginable and tragic discovery and to the driver of the other vehicle, who physically was unharmed but emotionally and spiritually will forever be scarring.
The scope of this tragedy has been so widespread. Many people in our community have felt an impact in one way or another.
For our Wolverines family, we’ve lost a member in Stephen Wack who played with us two years ago. An imposing young man who stood at 6’5 and 220 pounds. His large frame was filled with nothing but love, joy, passion, and kindness. He had a smile that could light up the darkest of rooms, and a laugh so infectious that you need not even hear the punchline of a joke to find yourself consumed with laughter. He endeared himself to his teammates, our staff and our whole community with his generosity and humility. Stephen will be profoundly missed by many. Rest easy, Stephen.
We also want to acknowledge another member of our family in Ryan Straschnitzki who began this year with us before ending up in Humboldt. He was badly injured and has been left paralyzed from the chest down. In true hockey player fashion, he's already on the road to recovery and has set a goal for himself to play on our countries national sledge hockey team. A Facebook page has been set up in an effort to help with his recovery, it can be found by searching “Strazstrong”.
Once a Wolverines, always a Wolverine.
Whitecourt Wolverine's owners Tracy and Brent Stark have issued the following statement:
Unfortunately, our family is all too familiar with tragic loss. In an event like this, I find I have so much to say however I’m left speechless.
When Ryder and Radek passed away, a lady by the name of Lisa Kozak wrote a poem for them… today I share this poem with the victim's families;
“The boys entered heaven… hockey sticks in their hand
And as they met their loved ones… they grew to understand.
The ice where they now skated was a clear as Ice could be.
And as they did the warm-up lap, they set their young souls free.
The wind that caught their locks… under helmets that fit just so
Made them feel as if they could fly, if they only just let go.
The team that they now played on was full of faces once thought gone
But they recognized their teammates and knew they weren’t alone.
The reason they were traded to the team up in the sky
Is the question with no answer…. for no reasons… fit the why?
This world is left to wonder how someone chose to pay this cost
Even though the boys now play for a team that has never lost.
They joined the team of angels, for a season that does not end
And now forever they will skate… teammates… brothers … friends.
They will be the best they can…. as they skate in heavens lands
Until the day they see once more… their mom waving in the stands. “
On behalf of Brent and I, we would like to send our deepest condolences to the friends and families of the 15 beautiful souls lost in The Humboldt Broncos Bus tragedy