It gives me great pleasure in nominating Justin Barron for the 2021 Gervais-Munger Award. Justin has been a player with the Halifax Mooseheads for the past four years. He has successfully completed three years of high school and is now enrolled at Saint Mary’s University.
From his early days with our team, Justin has done well in blending his hockey, academics and social life. However, he faced major adversity in the past 14 months. On November 30th,2019 he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his shoulder. At that time, his recovery period was identified as being three-to-six months. For someone from the outside looking in, the thought process would be that schooling would become easier for Justin, as he would have more time to dedicate to academics. Yet, in my experience of over 20 years in this league, I’ve learned this is not the case. The most organized players develop a rhythm in major junior where they eventually find a balance between hockey, school, and social activity. When you suddenly remove one of these, the adjustments become difficult.
Adding to his diagnosis were other events that challenged Justin’s commitment to school. He had surgery in Ontario to fix the cause of the clot problem in September 2020, which was followed by a 14-day quarantine. And then, on November 16, 2020 he left for Red Deer, Alberta to participate in Team Canada’s training camp ahead of the World Juniors. He made the team and then, for the next 52 days, was isolated in a bubble with his teammates. As if this wasn’t enough, he had another 14-day quarantine upon his arrival in Halifax.
In conclusion, Justin Barron is an intelligent gentleman, who has proven that, despite adversity, remains committed to his goal of achieving success in both hockey and academics. I firmly believe he is a worthy candidate for the Gervais-Munger Award.
Text by Allie MacDonald, Academic Advisor of the Halifax Mooseheads