Young man has career in his sights

Kelby Wittich aims to be an NHL Official

He’s been the focus of a couple of features in this publication and Kelby Wittich just keeps piling on the experience and accreditation.

Sports are big with the Sooke teen and he caught on early how he may parlay his love for them into a multifaceted lifetime involvement.

For starters, he’s got good size, fitness and coordination so he’s done fairly well at the sports he’s been involved with as a player – soccer, fastball, basketball and hockey, for example. But he’s also been astute enough to recognize the long odds an average kid faces in getting to the professional level. So Kelby has worked hard at becoming a competent multi-sport official, and more recently, getting started in the field of coaching.

Years after many athletic dreams have been surrendered, people with the sort of skills young Wittich is amassing can maintain gainful sports-related careers.

As of late the crowded calendar contains fastball coaching dates, a hopeful date as a fill-in pitcher/catcher/1st baseman with a midget fastball team from Kitimat on its way for national competition in Halifax, and a trip to the U17 BC Cup Hockey tournament as an official, in mid-May.

He served as a linesman for the major midget, (Vancouver Island Thunderbirds) for its past season and also mentored younger officials at the SEAPARC Arena on a regular basis. All told the workaholic put in more than 100 hockey games. For next season he’s been offered gigs of reffing Major Midget and lining the Junior B league.

In a timely development, as the appointments stack up, Kelby has obtained his driver’s license. 

“My taxi services are no longer required,” chirps his dad, Doug, “yahoo!”    

This time of year Kelby doesn’t need to look too far for motivation. With NHL playoffs in full swing he needs only peer as far as his TV. He said game seven of the Canucks/Blackhawks series was called by Steve Kozari, the guy who runs the camp he’s been attending on a yearly basis.

“To see him there is awesome, for sure,” said Kelby.

 

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