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Ponoka Junior B Stampeders moving forward after coaching staff changes

Team is seeking board members, new sponsorship
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A recent team photo of the Ponoka Junior B Stampeders. (Photo submitted)

The Ponoka Junior B Stampeders’ board of directors are moving ahead and continuing to rebuild after a coaching staff reshuffle earlier this year.

According to Michelle Moen, who has been a board member for two years, the former head coach Joe Gidari resigned and the general manager Andrew McNichols was let go in November, 2023.

“We had some issues with staffing and had to make some difficult decisions,” said Moen.

The head coach moving on was a “positive change” and a “non-issue,” said Moen, adding the players “weren’t responding well to him.”

According to Moen, McNichols was let go due to issues they were unable to resolve.

McNichols was unable to comment when contacted by Ponoka News.

As a result of the coaching changes, two players asked to be released from the team, including their starting goalie and a local player, said Moen, adding both are now playing for Red Deer.

“It was a real kick in the pants.”

Starting early in the year as the team’s assistant coach, Trevor Sigfusson “stepped forward” into the vacancy and has been “wonderful” as the new head coach, said Moen, adding the team continues to make gains.

“People who follow the Stampeders might have noticed the scores are getting closer,” she said.

Sigfusson brings some good experience with him.

He played senior hockey for four years and volunteered as a minor hockey coach during that time.

After moving to Alberta, he was selected as a coach for the West Central Tigers out of Sylvan Lake, where he lives now.

Sigfusson has experience as a board member of a lacrosse team.

He’s also recruited some players from Sylvan Lake and is currently billeting a player, which has been a “big help,” said Moen.

The new assistant coach is Pat Madden. The position of general manager is still open.

The board is looking for a general manager who has lots of creative ideas, has knowledge of the business side of hockey, works well as a team with the board and as a good liaison between the coaching staff and the board, said Moen.

The Stampeders recently put out a call for board members.

According to Moen, they’ve lost a few recently due to one passing away, another having health issues, and normal turnover.

There are currently four board members, and at least five are needed to hold proper meetings, she said.

They’re hoping to find new board members that are “like-minded” that will bring an “influx of great ideas,” said Moen.

Those interested can contact ponokastampeders@gmail.com.

The Stampeders are currently seeking more sponsors.

Normal operating costs for the team include ice time and travel expenses, but funding is needed for player development as well, said Moen.

“We really need more funding so we can start looking and bahving more like a competitive team.”

The team currently has three points in the league standings with one win and one overtime loss.

The Stampeders play at home this weekend, facing off against the Sylvan Lake Wranglers on Sunday, Feb. 4. The puck drops at 4 p.m.

READ MORE: Ponoka Stampeders break winless streak at home



Emily Jaycox

About the Author: Emily Jaycox

I’m Emily Jaycox, the editor of Ponoka News and the Bashaw Star. I’ve lived in Ponoka since 2015 and have over seven years of experience working as a journalist in central Alberta communities.
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