Renegades’ boss Roger Powell gets HNL salute
By Mark Squibb/June 30, 2022
Without Roger Powell, there may never have been a Conception Bay Renegades junior hockey team.
Powell, along with Kevin Tobin and Ernie Johnson, formed a core nucleus of the Renegades in 2010 when they found themselves with a little more time on their hands after their own kids had aged out of minor sports programs.
“When our kids grew beyond minor hockey and minor soccer, we were looking for something to do to keep us involved, and that’s what we did,” said Powell. “We decided junior hockey was a good fit for us, we all liked the game, and it gives us something to do.”
Powell’s importance to the junior hockey community was recognised when he was awarded the Gerry Taylor Memorial Eastern Junior Council Meritorious Award at Hockey NL’s AGM in Gander earlier this June.
“It’s a very nice honour to get,” said Powell. “The award is named after Gerry Taylor, who passed away a couple of years ago, and he was one of the original guys that started the Junior Hockey League about 40 years ago, and he certainly helped us out when we started, so it’s really nice to get an award in his name.”
Taylor, a driving force in the province’s hockey community, passed away in April, 2021. He is known particularly for his work in Mount Pearl’s hockey programs.
Powell, meanwhile, says that though the award bears his name, he sees it as a team win.
“To me, it’s more of a team award,” said Powell. “I’m sort of a mouthpiece when I go to the meetings. But we have a big group, and everybody has a piece to do. There’s five or six of us on the executive that volunteer, and another five or six coaches that volunteer. Everybody does their piece, and I don’t think I’m any different than they are. To me, it’s more of a tribute to the team than myself… it’s a tribute to our whole organization that is run very efficiently and very well with a lot of people involved… and everybody that does it is 100 percent a volunteer, and we just do it to give the kids another level hockey in CBS.”
Without those volunteers, each doing their individual job, Powell says the work would never get done.
“A lot of people don’t know the depth of what’s involved. We’re lucky, in that we have a dozen or more people when other teams in our league operate with three or four people,” said Powell. “There’s a lot of things that have to be done, from registering players, scheduling ice, arranging buses, ordering jerseys and equipment, and a fair amount of fundraising as well.”
Powell says it costs between $35,000 and $40,000 annually to keep a team such as the Renegades on the ice (noting that things such as ice time fees have doubled over the past decade), and that the majority of that cost is covered through fundraising.