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Warriors Hockey Partnering With Team IMPACT

This week’s Campus Celebrity is showcasing the Division 1, Merrimack Hockey Team. These athletes are hard working on and off the ice– juggling practices, games, classes, course work, and on top of that volunteering.

Yupp, you read that right, volunteering. It was a pleasant surprise over the summer seeing a re-tweet from a player about Team IMPACT, an organization that pairs children with life threatening diseases with college athletic teams.

The Warriors have been working with Team IMPACT since last fall when IMPACT approached Coach Dennehy with the chance to be paired with a child. Captain, Jordan Heywood, mentioned that after the meeting with Coach Dennehy and Team IMPACT, it was decided that day the Warriors would participate in the program. Though the partnership with the organization began last fall, it was not until January that the hockey team was matched with a child.

Tim Burke, fondly referred to as Timmy by his teammates, joined the Warriors officially last January at the fan skate at Fenway Park. Timmy is more than just a kid hanging out with the team. He has joined the fellow athletes on the roster as a Warrior.

Just like all the other players, Timmy has a place on the roster with all the basics about him, a photo, and a small biography. Timmy joins the team as a 5’1”, 105 lb, defensemen from Boston, MA. He is an undeclared sophomore that shoots/catches lefty. He was “born on March 12, 2000, son of Charles and Mary Burke [and he] joined the Merrimack hockey team in January 2012 in accordance with Team Impact.”

Heywood said, “Tim is the first match we’ve had. He is now a Warrior for life — though he was technically a warrior before purely because of how hard he battled the Leukemia.”

At twelve, Tim has already battled more than most of us have experience in life thus far. Goalie, Sam Marotta mentioned, “He is a big inspiration to me, and I have been blessed to be able to be one of his friends. What he goes through on a daily basis is ten times harder than anything I will do this entire season, and to do that at his age takes a lot.”

Timmy has gained his own fan base among the players. Senior Kyle Bigos has become very close with him. “I’ve gained a best friend for life that I know I can call, text, and hang out with. I’ve gained so much from our relationship that I can’t even put into words.”

Bigos says,“Team IMPACT has made it very easy for our team and Tim to get together and ever since we first met, our friendship has taken off and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Kyle also mentions that Tim is always cheering them on at home games, travels to see most of the away games, and even attends practices. The friendship has extended to more than just hanging around a rink.

Bigos says, “a couple of us have been to his house for dinners, lunch, and breakfast. We’ve been to a couple of movies with Tim, Red Sox games, the Jimmy Fund walk, and to Tim’s favorite beach and food spot in Southie.”

Marotta, is another that is always in touch with Timmy, “we text on close to a daily basis and have inside jokes. We also go to the beach and sometimes just sit on the couch, hangout, and talk. No matter what it is we are doing, it is always a good time.”

Timmy has been embraced by the Hockey team and Merrimack as a whole. Coach Dennehy is pleased with the partnership, “Team Impact has been amazing for all parties involved.  The players and the team benefits more than any of the parties involved.  I was truly surprised at how quickly the bonds formed. We could not be happier.  Our team is now complete!”

Marotta was another to mention the bond formed with his new teammate, “I think for Timmy it is great that he can be a part of a team and experience what it is life to have 28 brothers who would do anything for him. More importantly though, I have gained a friend for life. I can share anything with Timmy, and he can share anything with me. People like that are hard to come by.”

Our Merrimack Warriors Hockey Team have done a wonderful job welcoming another to the community. It is hard to believe that they manage to make it all work with such chaotic schedules. Jordan Heywood is even amazed, “Sometimes I wonder how I’m able to manage it.”

Heywood, Bigos, and Marotta credit time management to their success thus far, because without it it would be difficult to manage it all.

But when there is time to spare, hanging out with friends, watching movies, and playing videos games is the norm for the Warriors. Jordan enjoys all of those activities as well. Right now he said is, “in the process of learning how to play guitar — just like every other guy out there.”

Marotta mentions that on top of his busy schedule he manages a job as a supervisor for intramural sports and is also a goalie coach. He jokes about his busy schedule and the few things he enjoys in his spare time, “that’s pretty much my life in a nutshell.”

Even with their busy schedules, the Warriors manage to do it all. Coach Dennehy mentions that even though they are a part of the Hockey team there is no privilege, “They are just a part of a larger group trying to be the best students, people, and (in their cases) athletes that they can.”

I’d say the Warriors fit that definition. They are a fine group of hard working athletes representing Merrimack.

The Warriors Hockey East debut is at 7 pm on October 6th at Union. Don’t forget that our season is right around the corner, and if you see Timmy be sure to give a shout out to our newest Warrior!

Photo Credit:
Hockey Roster: Merrimack College Athletics

Biography Credit for Tim Burke:

When this fun-loving sorority girl isn't hitting the books or helping plan a ZTA event, she's constantly on the go. As if being a commuter student isn't enough, Joanna is working part-time at a bank, is a member of the executive committee in her sorority, and is working to set up several clubs on campus. When Joanna's got a spare minute to herself, if there is any time to spare, she enjoys eating sushi, attempting to speak German with her friend, cuddling with her Golden Retriever, Dobby, and ordering venti non-fat chai lattes [one of her many downfalls.]
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