The Surrey Eagles will retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 jersey at the beginning of next season, the team announced. (Surrey Eagles photo)

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

A few days after Jaxon Joseph’s death – one of 16 in the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash April 6 – Blaine Neufeld, former coach with the Surrey Eagles, said what he wanted, more than anything, was for the 20-year-old hockey player to be remembered.

Now, the Eagles have found a way to do just that – by retiring Joseph’s No. 10 jersey.

Team president Chuck Westgard confirmed to Black Press this week that the number will go up into the rafters, but said official plans to honour Joseph – who played for the Eagles during the 2015/16 season – were still being worked out.

After his time in South Surrey, Joseph moved on to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, first with the Melfort Mustangs and then with Humboldt. The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin when their team bus collided with a semi truck.

Westgard hopes the gesture will serve as a way not only to honour Joseph, but his Humboldt teammates, as well.

“It’s a tragedy that hit everyone hard, especially those of us in the hockey community,” Westgard said Tuesday. “Number one, this is a way to honour Jaxon, but number two, it’s a way to acknowledge what happened and make sure people don’t ever forget.

“We need to remember those kids, and those people.”

Speaking with Black Press a few days after the bus crash, Neufeld said the tragedy hit home with everyone involved in the sport, calling it “heartbreaking, horrific – it’s about as bad as it gets.”

Though Joseph only played part of one season in Surrey, he was one of the team’s most well-respected players, Neufeld said.

“Beyond the game of hockey, he was a young man who was built to succeed in life, and it’s just a shame he isn’t going to get that chance,” he said at the time.

Joseph’s number will be the second retired by the club. Former forward Jeff Nabseth’s No. 8 jersey was retired after he was killed in a bike accident on Vancouver Island in 1999.

Caige Sterzer wore No. 10 last season with the Eagles, and while the team brass hasn’t spoke with him yet about making a switch, Westgard said “he won’t have any problem with it.”

Just Posted

Public input sought on proposed cannabis retail store in Coombs

Application to be reviewed by Regional District of Nanaimo

Two nature-inspired artists display oil paintings at Qualicum gallery

Judy Maxwell and Lloyd Major depict scenes of wildlife, landscapes and the west coast

Parksville seniors getting stronger with age

Weightlifting couple qualify to compete at Worlds Masters in Montreal in August

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

Most Read