Where hard work and being coachable will get you

Posted: November 4, 2010

Fifth-year player, first-year captain
Josh Dueck, a fifth-year Clipper, is in his first season as team captain for the Briercrest men’s hockey team.

The six-foot defenseman from Boissevain, Man., is a dedicated athlete who leads by example, and that is exactly what his coach, Terry Dyck, was looking for:

“I look for a captain who is mature and can take charge of a dressing room ... someone who leads by example and sets the tone by being willing to do the hard things that most guys aren’t prepared to do ... someone who is respected by his teammates.”

Dueck sees himself as a player whose strengths are “hard work, being teachable, and skating ability.”

“I wouldn’t consider myself a flashy player,” Dueck said, “but I try to give my full effort every time on the ice and learn from my mistakes, so I am always improving.”

It is that work ethic and desire to learn and do whatever it takes to improve that has developed him into the leader his coach was looking for.

“Josh is prepared to take a hit to make a play and do the little things that others aren’t prepared to do: the little things for the betterment of the team," Coach Dyck said. "He makes the off-ice training a priority, and that is something that they really want to establish in the culture this year.”

Credit to his mentors
Josh credits his predecessors for where he is at today: “I think I was probably chosen captain because I was really blessed with being able to play with two great Clipper captains that took the time to build into my life and not only taught me but showed by example how to lead in a Godly way, and I guess I’ve tried to hopefully demonstrate some of these same qualities during my years playing for the Clippers,” he said.

Big expectations
In his four seasons so far with Briercrest, Dueck says that the biggest highlights have been being the first team in Briercrest history to make the ACAC playoffs and then to follow it up with making playoffs a second year in a row. Another was experiencing two playoff victories in the first round of the ACAC playoffs.

Dueck hopes to get back into the playoff picture in his last ACAC season:

“I’ve seen the program take great strides forwards as a hockey team on the ice while also building men of integrity off the ice, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue helping it build.

"I’m also really excited about the chance to help the team redeem itself after a disappointing non-playoff season last year and make playoffs this year, and I expect myself to help do whatever it takes for the team to achieve that.”

Influence from home
Dueck originally chose to come to Briercrest because of influence from his youth pastor back home, who had told him many stories about his own great experience at Briercrest. Playing hockey at a high level was also a “clincher” for him to come.

He originally wanted to “come for a year of Bible school”, but developed a passion for the hockey program at Briercrest and decided to stay and complete his BA in Business Administration.

Outside of hockey, Josh really enjoys the social aspect of being at Briercrest: “What I enjoy most is having the opportunity everyday to hang out with Christian friends. I also really appreciate the personal relationships that I’ve been able to form with a lot of my professors while here at school. So I guess the friendships are what I enjoy most about Briercrest outside of athletics.”

Travellin’ man
Dueck has been an avid traveler, having been backpacking in Thailand and New Zealand and on three different missions trips: one to Mexico and two with Athletes in Action to play hockey in Russia with some Briercrest teammates.

Next year, he hopes to continue to play hockey and fulfill his desire to travel: “I hope to take the things l’ve learned about combining athletics with faith while here at Briercrest and use them to help a missions organization while playing hockey overseas if the Lord opens up that opportunity.”