Team (Man) of the Week Ed Rigling
Hello Viper Nation!
As many of you know the Vipers have a team of the week. It’s been really fun doing this, and our fans enjoy it! This week, I’d like to change it up a little bit… Way, way back at the beginning of the season, I know it seems like yesterday. Ed Rigling sent me something to post. I sat on this for a while trying to find the best time to post. This week is the time. This week is the man of the week. – Ed Rigling-
Ed is the president of Capital City Vipers and will end his term at the end of this season. Ed has been in this position for six years and has helped the Vipers through thick and thin. For me personally to know Ed, is a great thing. He is honest, helpful, and looks out for the best of the Vipers club, and hockey in general.
What Hockey Means to Me
I love hockey. I've loved it since I was a kid and my grandparents took me to my first Hershey Bears' game and I used to watch the Flyers on PRISM (yes, I am really showing my age). I remember jumping on our Florida hotel beds when the USA beat the Soviets in the Miracle on Ice. I did not have a chance to play ice hockey until I was 14, but I was fortunate enough to have an older brother and a lot of neighborhood friends who played street hockey so that is where I learned to play the game.
I love hockey because it is the only game I could play where it didn't matter if you were tall, short, skinny, husky, fast, slow, left handed, or right handed. I was never told I could not play a position because of some bias like I experienced in baseball or football. I love that you are always involved in the play and have a chance to make an impact no matter what position you played. You must constantly move and think and react whenever you hop over the boards.
I developed many friendships through hockey, and I also learned many valuable lessons that I believe had helped me throughout my life. I learned how to be resilient, how to go out and grind it out every shift no matter how the game was going. I learned how to reset after each shift, get feedback, and apply it to become a better player. I learned how to trust my teammates and work together to be successful, how to work with different personalities to achieve a common goal. No one player wins a hockey game by himself, but great teams learn how to harness that individual skill to make the team successful. I was also overweight and not very active for most of my childhood, and when I was a teenager hockey helped motivate me to get physically fit. I learned that working hard on my physical fitness off the ice helped me succeed on the ice.
I think youth hockey gives us the opportunity to pass all this passion and knowledge along to the next generation. I think being a late bloomer gives me the perspective to realize not everyone develops at the same pace, and I love how our program has grown to include the house teams so we can offer more opportunities for kids to play at their skill and competitive level. I have enjoyed watching our kids develop over the past several years through the clinics, dryland, and other opportunities we are glad to provide. I hope we can continue to expand those opportunities for our kids to grow as people as well as athletes. I would love to someday turn on an NHL game and hear about a player from the Central Pennsylvania region, but I get a lot of satisfaction seeing our players grow and move into the world where they can make great contributions off the ice while keeping a passion to play well after their youth hockey days have ended. The greatest accomplishment will be when some of them decide to give back to the sport by coaching the next generation as I have been lucky enough to do.