BY RANDY SCHULTZ
The Sixth Annual Tyler Putnam Awards were recently held at the Webster Golf Club in Webster, NY. This year’s event honored 26 players from 26 high schools and hockey programs from around the Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse area and hosted another record breaking 300+ people.
Two other awards were given out as well. It was a great experience for all involved and raised thousands of dollars for local charities.
The recipients were:
Nick Cira, Aquinas Institute; Evan Dusky, Batavia/Genesee; Zach Quinton, Pittsford High School; Devin Mulcahy, Webster Thomas High School; Jack Skakuj, Brockport High School; Jack Gramlich, Monroe County Youth Hockey.
Riley Hauf, Victor High School; Cameron Misiurewicz, Greece Storm; Cameron Kuzniar, Rush Henrietta High School; Erin McCarthy, Rochester Girls Edge; Charlie Merkley, McQuaid Jesuit High School; C. J. Mason, Hilton High School.
Patrick Nowak, Rochester Junior Monarchs NCDC/Premier; Jack Feola, Rochester Junior Monarchs 18U AAA; Max Letta, Irondequoit High School; Ryan Pitka, Canandaigua Knights Youth Hockey; Joe Papin, Syracuse Nationals 15U AAA; Aiden Hill; Newedge Hockey Development Academy.
Zac Case, Spencerport High School; Hunter McDonald, Rochester Youth Hockey; Joshua Fitzpatrick, Canandaigua High School; Matt Rockhill, Penfield High School; Alexa O’Neil, Rochester Coalition Girls; Jude Cole, Brighton/E. Rochester/HFL High School.
Matthew Nielson, Tri-County Youth Hockey; Cory Foster, Fairport High School.
Winner of the Joshua Opladen Goaltender Award was Lenny Perno, Aquinas Institute. Winner of the new Colin Montesano Unsung Hero Award was Blake Humphrey, Rochester Youth Hockey.
Since 2012 the Tyler Putnam Foundation has donated more than $16,000 to families in need of assistance for registration fees for hockey. Additionally, the Foundation has awarded an annual Scholar Athlete Scholarship of $1000 (for the last six years, totaling $6000) to a graduating senior at Irondequoit High School who played hockey and is moving on to college. That is a total of $22,000 to area youth.
Tyler Putnam’s dream was to play for his High School Hockey team, The Irondequoit Eagles, Junior Hockey, Division I Hockey and ultimately Professional Hockey. Tyler was able to realize two of those dreams, having played for The Irondequoit Eagles as an eighth and ninth grader and then with the Maksymum Junior team here in Rochester, NY.
At the conclusion of his first Junior season, Tyler was well on his way of realizing his next dream as he was offered roster spots on five Junior A teams from Rochester, Minnesota to San Diego, California.
In July of 2011, Tyler’s hockey dreams ended tragically when he died of an illness called “meningococcemia”, which is an infection that affects the bloodstream. Tyler Putnam was known for his high energy, incredible work ethic, and desire to achieve his goals.
Tyler has been memorialized with a banner hanging above the ice at a local hockey arena as well as by a memorial helmet sticker that dawns the symbol of a hard hat – a symbol of Tyler’s hard work and dedication to the game that he loved.