Blue and gold

Christian Samson is a proud, dedicated member of the Wranglers' organization

Assistant trainer Christian Samson watched the pre-game warm-up behind forward Justin Bond at a recent 100 Mile House Wranglers home game. Team representatives credit Samson for his hard work and dedication to the Junior B hockey organization.

In a small town where Wranglers fandom reaches wide and runs deep, there’s one local fan whose loyalty might run deepest of all.

100 Mile House coach Dale Hladun says it best of Christian Samson, the team’s assistant trainer for the last two seasons: “I think if you cut one of his veins, it would bleed blue and gold.”

Samson, 23, has been a part of the Wranglers organization since its inaugural Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season in 2013.

A regular presence around the home team’s bench at the South Cariboo Rec. Centre when the Junior B club takes the ice, Samson is an integral part of the behind-the-scenes action. As the right-hand man of trainer Rainer Meyer, he performs the many small but essential tasks that need to be done in and around a hockey dressing room: filling water bottles, handling sticks, tape and equipment, collecting laundry, fetching game sheets, and things like that.

While Samson likes to joke about the Wranglers not knowing what to do without him, it seems there’s some truth to that.

The team really misses him when’s he not around, coach Hladun explains.

“When Christian can’t make it, it’s: ‘Where’s this? Where’s that? We need this!’ Christian plays a strong role with us. He’s very detailed. He’s accountable. And he’s important to us on game day.”

It’s also fair to say Samson’s emotional investment in the team’s success likely matches that of anyone else.

If you catch him in the hallway after a win, Samson is a grinning, one-man fist-bump machine. After a loss – especially a bad one – his head shakes from side to side and his eyes scan the floor like they don’t believe what they just saw. It’s likely he’ll register a particular dissatisfaction with the recent result, followed by something about the boys having done their best, and getting them next time.

Plain and simple, he loves this team.

“I’m glad he’s involved with us,” says Hladun.

Meyer has also been with the Wranglers since the beginning. He was a trainer in Germany for a professional hockey team before coming to Canada. A registered physio-therapist, his main job is tending to players, preventing and treating injuries. Which leaves him little time for much of the many other ancillary things going on. Where Samson comes into play.

“He helps everywhere,” Meyer says of his assistant. “Christian is running around. He fills up the water bottles. He looks for the pucks. He looks for a stick if a kid breaks a stick.”

Samson is also employed part time at a local grocery store. If he’s not in his Safeway uniform, he’s wearing something with a Wranglers logo.

Spark up a conversation with him while you’re doing a bit of shopping and it’s going to be about one thing and one thing only – this team.

His team.

“He loves being a Wrangler,” says Meyer. “He’s proud to be on the team.”


Just Posted

South Cariboo bags three medals in figure skating competition in Revelstoke

Two girls brought home gold, while the third brought home silver

100 Mile House remembers

Residents of 100 Mile House honour the country’s veterans

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

North Coast figure skater to star in Dancing On Ice

Carlotta Edwards learned to skate in Prince Rupert, before becoming a star with millions of viewers

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

West Fraser to reduce sawmill production in Quesnel, Fraser Lake

The move will affect 75 employees in Quesnel, 60 in Fraser Lake

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Loggers pull door off wreckage to get to Cariboo crash victim

“It’s an absolute miracle the man’s alive.”

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Most Read