Hardworking hometown player!
Coleman Mueller is one of those great stories where "hometown kid does good"!
I will be the first to admit that when Peter told me that Coleman Mueller wanted to try out for the Aeros, I was sceptical. Now, don't get me wrong, I always thought that Coleman was a great kid. I've known him since my days as a coach in minor hockey but to play at this level.....no way! Wow, was I wrong!!!
Coleman is the epitome of what someone can do when they really, really want something. When Coleman, Coach and I first met to discuss the possibility of a tryout, we both told him that this isn't a "look/see". If you are trying out, you give us your very best over the course of a two week period. No halfway, no quitting, and no, I can't do this.
And guess what? Coleman did not disappoint. He has proven that hard work, determination, and willingness to learn can make anything happen. Failure was not an option for Coleman. He made this team because he really wanted it!
Fast forward to the Las Vegas Showcase. It was Game #3 against the Ogden Mustangs. The boys were tired. They gave everything they had in those three games but we lacked the depth to run with the big boys. We had two defencemen that played 35-40 minutes a game. They were exhausted.
My friend and team advisor, Kirk Gilks, were standing at the railing waiting for the game to start. About 5 minutes into the game 3 gentlemen sat down in front of us and they looked like they were scouts/coaches from one of the Universities. This was pretty commonplace during the Showcase, so we didn't pay much attention. 10 minutes later, one of the scouts, lays down his note pad on the bench next to him and I noticed that he had written "6" down on the paper. I started to look around Ogdens team and didn't notice a number 6 right away. So I leaned over to my friend, Kirk, and pointed down at the paper. We both started to look around at the Ogden team and didn't see a number 6. And then it dawned on us......
I bent down and tapped the gentleman on the shoulder and asked him if he was looking at our number 6. He enthusiastically said yes, that this was a player that they had specifically come to see because he was someone that they really wanted on their team for next season. Size, a bit of grit and tons of determination were all adjectives that he used to talk about Coleman Mueller. I swear to God when I tell you this, but my eyes welled up. I was so happy for Coleman!!! Coleman was about to have a meeting with the University of New Mexico to talk about playing for them next year. Are you kidding me??????
I couldn't wait for the game to end so that I can introduce this scout to Coleman. Not only did Coleman meet with him but I find out later that Coleman also had a chat with the University of North Dakota. Say what?!!!
I grabbed Coleman when he was done and I was beaming like a proud father. "Coleman, which school are you going to pick?" You know what he said to me??? "Neither"! Wait, what????? "Neither, Axel", he said. I was flabbergasted. And then he told me his reason. He told me that he had learned so much this year from Coach Bernie, that he wanted to come back next year and get even better and who knows, maybe get more offers from other schools. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Coleman wants options. And I just know that if he keeps working as hard as he does, he'll definitely have those options. I truly couldn't have been more proud of this fine young man.
Which takes us to today. This morning I received an email from the mother of a fan. Have a read below cause this is all you are going to need to truly understand how special Coleman Mueller is.
"My son is not a hockey player but he is a hockey fan. If you ask him who his favourite team is he would say Edmonton Oilers. But if you ask him who his favourite player is he would say #6 Coleman Mueller. We had an opportunity to meet Coleman and spend some time with him. He is an amazing young man and very down to earth. He is proof that when you work hard you can achieve anything. Thank you Coleman for taking time out of your day to spend time with my son. You have made him one happy little dude." Sent in by Mary Ann Bittner
Thank you, Coleman. You have clearly defined by what it means to be an Aero!