ANDERSON TO TAKE ON HEAD COACH, GM DUTIES IN ALPENA
The Alpena Flyers are pleased to announce that Russ Anderson will officially step into the head coaching position of the team effective April 1. Anderson will also be transitioning into the general manager position of the team. Current GM David Guzman will be focusing on his position at Northern Lights Arena as ice events manager and will continue to assist Anderson during the transition. Guzman was recognized by the MWJHL i...n the 2014-15 season as GM of the Year for his efforts in bringing a team to Alpena.
Anderson has been an assistant coach with the team since the Flyers joined the MWJHL in the 2014-15 season and a fixture in Alpena hockey for the last decade. After winning a national championship with the St Louis Bandits of the NAHL, Anderson played a season with the Alpena Icediggers (NAHL), then signed at Utica College (NCAA D-3) and spent two seasons there. Russ has coached at many levels since his playing career ended due to a back injury, including AAA Midget Travel in Riverside, California.
"It will be an exciting new adventure for me. To be able to go to the rink everyday and do what I love is something that is irreplaceable" said Anderson. "The city of Alpena when I played here was really behind the junior team (Alpena Icediggers) and made playing here fun each night. I think the team is heading in the right direction and bringing a junior team back to what it was in previous years isn't so far away. Ultimately our goal is to be a stepping stone for young athletes to move on to either higher junior leagues or the collegiate level. To be able to do that and make the experience here in Alpena great for them is what we truly strive for. We get a decent crowd right now, but with plans of being more active with the youth teams and throughout the community we are hoping to grow our fan base and pack the rink each night."
Erik Peterson will be moving from the head coaching position to an assistant with the team. Peterson played four seasons with the Alpena Icediggers (NAHL) and is holds the scoring record for the Icediggers while they were in Alpena.
The Flyers host their first invitational camp for the upcoming 2016-17 season on April 29-30 at Northern Lights Arena.
The Flyers are thrilled to announce the teams' first 2016 college commitment...Shane Dawson (1995-Defense) has made a commitment to play for the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies (ACHA D-1) in the upcoming 2016-17 season.
Dawson, in his final year with the Flyers, has three goals and twelve assists in 29 games with 99 minutes in penalties. Dawson recorded 21 points last year with the Flyers in the MWJHL along with 103 penalty minutes on 21 infractions.
Russ Anderson, coach of the Flyers, said “On behalf of the coaching staff and the organization I would like to say that we are very proud of Shane’s commitment to Oakland and are happy to see his hard work pay off. Shane is one of those guys who lightens things up and keeps them fun, but always brings a positive attitude and great work ethic on and off the ice. He had to battle through some injuries this season but it didn’t stop him from being at the rink and involved with the guys each day. It is a pleasure personally for me to watch a great young player, but more importantly a great young man, get an opportunity like this. To be able to see him take advantage of this tremendous opportunity and pursue his education while playing the sport he loves is an honor. Ultimately it is our goal to move kids on to higher levels of juniors or college so as an organization the Flyers could not be happier for the Dawson family.”
Shane’s signing is the third in two years for the Flyers, who played their first season at Northern Lights Arena in the 2014-15 season. Last year the Flyers sent two players to Davenport University.
Dawson is no stranger to hard work and hitting the books. He already carries a State of Michigan certificate in Firefighting 1 & 2. He plans to study occupational safety while at Oakland, which will augment his firefighting background.
The Flyers head to Traverse City next weekend to take on the Hounds in the first round of the USPHL Eastern Division playoffs.
Alpena Flyers New Weight Room Donated by Jon Benson