POTSDAM, N.Y.—The SUNY Potsdam men's hockey team has drafted Hunter Cooke to be an honorary Bear for the 2012-13 season. Potsdam has joined with Team IMPACT to welcome Cooke into its family.
Cooke, a 10-year old Hogansburg resident with cystic fibrosis, met Coach Chris Bernard and Bears Brett Waters, Mike Arnold, Vinny Buttitta, Max Fogel and Ken Simon on Oct. 19, at Maxcy Hall. He talked hockey and video games with the players, watched a highlight video and was interviewed by Voice of the Bears Chris Engel. Like Simon, who is a Massachusetts native, Cooke is a fan of the Boston Bruins.
After the introductions, the new Bear signed his team contract where he agreed to be a good citizen, a good son and brother, work hard in school and represent his team in a positive way. The Bears then presented him with his own Potsdam jersey. Throughout the season, Cooke will attend Potsdam practices and home games and visit the Bears in their locker room.
“We are really excited about the opportunity to develop a relationship with Hunter and his family,” said Bernard. “We want to be there to support them anyway they deem necessary or important to continue to help him reach his goals for improved health and improved quality of life in general.”
Team IMPACT's mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing adverse issues and events by establishing and expanding vibrant team-based support networks.
The group endeavors to continually encourage a wide range of team-based organizations like the Bears to open up their ranks and extend their laughter, strength and support for children facing these adverse issues, and events. In doing so, the team joins the child's support team, supporting the child in his or her medical journey and beyond.
The Bears open their season at Massena Arena tonight at 7 p.m. against Saint Michael's College and Cooke will drop the first puck.