By all accounts, the regular season for Christian Brothers Academy hockey was a success as the Brothers went 13-4-3 and finished third in the Capital District High School Hockey League.
Away from the action on the ice, the Brothers squad and booster club recently continued a tradition as part of its Senior Night. Along with honoring CBA’s senior class of hockey players, proceeds from the night went to the family of Sergeant Herbert Reeves, a CBA instructor whose wife, Rosa, has been battling non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The senior night gesture began as an honor to a former CBA teacher who died in 2014.
“The tradition started back when unfortunately, the CBA community lost a teacher, Joe Fingerhut,” CBA athletic director and hockey coach Blaine Drescher said. “As the years have gone on, we recognize other members of our community that are battling that situation. At the Fingerhut game this year, Sgt. Reeves’ son had the opportunity to drop the puck on the opening faceoff. As a coach but also someone that works at CBA, it is good to see the community, the amount of people that come together for a good cause and recognize some of the battles that some of our members are facing day in and day out.”
Sgt. Reeves runs the Junior ROTC program at CBA and said the outpouring from the school community for Rosa, who is in remission, was incredible.
“They are a beautiful, great group of people, the hockey team,” Sgt. Reeves said. “My wife was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma about a year and a half ago. It has been a long ride. Parents come out, they are so sweet. They left food at the front door, blankets, care packages. I work for CBA, but they know what is going on because it is a tight group. Seeing them do things like that was beautiful.”
Sgt. Reeves’ 8-year-old son, Andre, is a big sports fan and drew the honor of dropping the puck for the ceremonial opening faceoff for the game, a CBA 2-1 win over La Salle in overtime.
Andre Reeves has been a fixture at the hockey games this season and has already made up his mind where he wants to attend school next.
“He also threw out a first pitch at a CBA baseball game,” Sgt. Reeves said. “He wants to go to CBA so bad, but he has to wait about a year and a half. They are fond of Andre and he is fond of them. He loves sports, knows a lot about sports.”
The significance of the “Fingerhut Game” is not lost on the seniors each year, given the bond between the team and the CBA community.
“We try to raise money for the Joe Fingerhut Foundation for cancer awareness. It is more promotional. We get a lot of people at the Senior Night games, through ticket sales and concessions,” senior defenseman Michael West said. “Sgt. Reeves’ son, Andre, has come to every single game. It means everything knowing that, in a way, our team can help someone going through a tough time. It is something they can use as a coping mechanism, to take their minds off all the stress and worrying. We’re inspired by it, that people care about what we do. People come to our games, to come see their school play, they can use the games to build friendships and relationships.”
CBA begins its quest for its first Section II hockey title when it hosts a quarterfinal game Tuesday.
Whether the team finds success in the postseason is still to be seen, but CBA has made, and will continue to make, an impact off the ice.