Vernon, BC: Jason McKee, Head Coach and General Manager of the Vernon Vipers, announced today that Connor Marritt will be the team captain for the 2019-20 season.
It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for the 20-year-old Marritt, who recently committed to Northern Michigan for 2020-21. He describes the captaincy as “a huge honour and I’m very excited to take on the role. I’ve watched previous Viper captains and I played with Jags [Jagger Williamson] for two years, so I know how much responsibility is involved. I’ve seen the way Jags interacted in the community. Also, he was so good with his teammates, making everybody feel part of the team. He’s a guy’s guy, someone whom we all like and respect.”
As a young minor hockey player in Vernon, Connor remembers seeing how Chris Crowell carried himself when Chris was the Viper captain for two years. “That guy never took a shift off. He brought it every night, which I think is part of being a captain. You lead by example, which is what I expect of all our veterans this coming year.”
Coach McKee explains why the Viper staff chose Connor as captain. “We talked with a number of the players and with other people around the Vipers. It’s clear that his character suits the role; he’s a great teammate and really good in the community. And he works hard; he takes no shortcuts and that suits the culture that we want to have. Basically, he embodies the kind of person we want on the Vipers. And it’s a bonus that he’s a local player, growing up in Vernon and in Kelowna.”
The new coach and captain have met to discuss the upcoming season. Connor is enthused about “the pro-style system that the coach will introduce this year. It’s a little different than the system we’ve been used to, so it’s important that the team leaders help the new players buy into this way of playing. I think with the strong players we have returning and the good new signings, we’re going to have a really good team.”
With a scholarship to Northern Michigan locked up, Connor can focus on his leadership role as he continues to evolve as a hard-nosed scoring winger. In his rookie season Connor registered 10 points, which he quadrupled last season, to tie Josh Latta and Teddy Wooding for the team points lead.