A ferocious competitor and a polite gentleman. Two phrases that may seem to stand at odds, but as Charlie Voller proves, certainly do not have to.
Voller, one of MAML’s fiercest competitors and kindest kids, took home one of the biggest honors of the weekend Saturday when he was named the Class A recipient of the Herb Brooks Award. The award goes to one player in each class at the state tournament.
The Herb Brooks Foundation website describes the award as such: “The Herb Brooks Award is given to the most qualified hockey player in the state tournament who strongly represents the values, characteristics, and traits that defined Herb Brooks. This prestigious award will commemorate the unending influence Herb Brooks had on the sport of hockey in Minnesota and throughout the world.”
Herb Brooks’ son Danny presented the award to Voller immediately following Saturday’s championship game, with the presentation broadcast live on 45TV. The award is one of most prestigious honors in Minnesota high school hockey.
Other characteristics the award, named after the Gold-medal winning hockey coach, is based upon include: True love for hockey – a real passion, commitment and loyalty to school, team, and community, willingness to sacrifice for the team, integrity, excellent work ethic, mental toughness, courage of his/her convictions, and strong hockey skills.
“I can’t put it into words. It’s incredible,” said Voller, about winning the award. “I’ve watched a lot of great hockey players get that over the years and never would’ve expected to be down here at the tournament, state championship game, then to win that award at the end, it’s pretty special.”
The senior doesn’t back down from anyone on the ice, but said he takes a lot of pride in keeping it within the lines of competition.
“You go out there and you play physical, you play hard, but in the end it’s just a game and I try to be as kind as I can to officials and players at the end of it,” said Voller.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]