Once again this year, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has participated in Hooked on School Days as the League recognizes all the important work done its academic advisors and tutors that support its players on all 18 teams on their path in school.
“Our academic advisors are often our super heroes behind the scenes given their power and influence in encouraging our players to continue their studies while motivating them and helping them overcome challenges they face in the classroom,” explained Natacha Llorens, Director, Player Support Program, Anti-Doping and Education Services. “We deeply thank them for their dedication and the support they provide to our players.”
Among those is Clovis Langlois-Boucher, academic advisor for the Sherbrooke Phoenix since the club made its return to the QMJHL and former football player with the Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or and also current teacher at Cégep de Sherbrooke.
Langlois-Boucher is in an ideal position to help Phoenix players excel in the classroom while playing sports at an elite level given he was 2007 Russ Jackson Award winner as the Canadian University football player to have best combined academics with on-field success while also being a key contributor to his community. He remains the only recipient from a francophone university to ever win the award and is the last Quebecer to do so.
“To tell you the truth, these players persevere through a lot to succeed in school while also training each day, living with a billet family, facing pressure to perform on the ice and, of course, the road trips to games,” explained Langlois-Boucher.
“Most players arrive with a Plan A which is to play professional hockey and it is my job to make them understand the importance of also having a Plan B which entails preparing for their futures. When I was in university, my coach Alain Lapointe made me understand the 4-40 principle which involves dedicating yourself to the four years of courses in order to prepare the 40 years that will follow,” recalled Langlois-Boucher.
An example he likes to use is veteran defenceman Justin Bahl who was acquired from the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in January 2014 after having been a first-round pick at the 2012 QMJHL Draft.
“When he arrived with us, he had no real interest in school and did the bare minimum to get by, but once he began to succeed in school, his confidence began to grow and then something clicked with him,” said Langlois-Boucher.
The 21-year-old’s success in the classroom has pushed the student athlete to complete four courses by correspondence and three others in school in one semester in order to earn his diploma from the Cégep de Sherbrooke. Today he is in his fifth and final QMJHL season and doing classwork remotely through l’Université Laval.
A father of two boys and of a new-born daughter, Langlois-Boucher figures he spends upwards of 500 hours per year on his academic advisory role for what he calls his extended family.
“Since the arrival of the Phoenix, I have worked with over 100 players,” he explained. “I have also discovered the game of hockey through my involvement with the team and my boys are now asking me to come to games. I am very happy in my role, and am well treated by the team and look forward to continuing with the Phoenix for as long as possible.”
Here’s the list of the QMJHL ‘Hooked on School’ Superheroes named for the 2017 Hooked on School Days.
George Willett, Acadie-Bathurst Titan
Marie Meagher, Acadie-Bathurst Titan
James Laviolette, Baie-Comeau Drakkar
Harry Tassy, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada
Ryan MacPherson, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Elie Blondin, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Julie McCabe, Charlottetown Islanders
Kristina Hulton, Charlottetown Islanders
Joanne Leblanc, Chicoutimi Sagueneens
François Yvon, Drummondville Voltigeurs
Josée Beaudry, Gatineau Olympiques
Allie MacDonald, Halifax Mooseheads
Lise Doucet, Moncton Wildcats
Jean-Yves Tremblay, Quebec Remparts
Rodrigue Landry, Rimouski Oceanic
Lucie Landry, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Patrick Coulombe, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Annie Somers, Saint John Sea Dogs
Shelley Rinehart, Saint John Sea Dogs
Paul Boutilier, Saint John Sea Dogs
Stéphane Lajoie, Shawinigan Cataractes
Clovis Langlois-Boucher, Sherbrooke Phoenix
Martin Veillette, Val-d’Or Foreurs
John Kordan, Val-d’Or Foreurs
Diane Morin, Victoriaville Tigres
Lyne Morin, Victoriaville Tigres
In partnership with Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon, Fondation Desjardins and the organization Avenir d’Enfants, Instances régionales de concertation sur la persévérance scolaire et la réussite éducative du Québec have mobilized for the last 10 years behind the educational success of young people. Each year, hundreds of events are organized across the province during the Hooked on School Days.
For more information on the Hooked on School Days, visit the official website at jps2017.perseverancescolaire.com/english.