The father-son team of Colin and Spencer Estabrooks managed to keep play moving along nicely and managed to control any unexpected outbursts as two teams battled for 60 minutes during the annual Jamie Gripton Memorial Hockey Game last Wednesday. The two referees used discretion and tossed the rulebook into the garbage bin but all went well.
Co-coordinator Vernon Vickruck said 20 players, many who had played alongside the late Jamie Gripton in the morning hockey leagues, laced up their skates for another crack at stardom. He said the game was close although the turnout of fans was less than hoped for.
In spite of this, in excess of $514 was raised through donations at the door. This is an annual charity event and this year the recipient was the Open Sky Cooperative, an organization that serves young people through training and education.
Jamie Gripton and Vernon Vickruck were colleagues and created a hockey rivalry between their congregations – Gripton and the Sackville United and Vickruck and his Middle Sackville Baptist. This attracted a good deal of attention and some close results, with Gripton showing a special talent for the game.
Following his passing away, Vickruck and Sackville United's Eric Tusz-King agreed that a game played annually in his memory would be appropriate and the tradition continues but no longer pits one congregation against the other. It provides an opportunity for a group of men and women to come together and pay tribute to a church leader, athlete and outstanding individual.