LOUISDALE: Members of the Richmond Hurricane hockey team took to the road last Saturday to spend a bit of the Christmas season with a teammate and one of their favourite guys, Spencer McNamara.
“We made the trek up Saturday morning, and Shannon [Spencer’s mom] and Spencer didn’t know we were coming,” said Robert MacDonald, coach of the Hurricane team.
“We walked in with our new jerseys on, Santa Claus hats, and there were some tears. Spencer was super excited to see us. We had a really good day with him. We hung out, and the guys did what the guys do.
“After that afternoon, I don’t need anything for Christmas.”
McNamara, a standout student athlete at Richmond Academy, was involved in a single vehicle car accident on September 25. He was transported to the Strait-Richmond Hospital and, from there, he was airlifted to the QEII in Halifax. He’s now being treated for brain trauma.
It was at the QEII that the Hurricanes visited Spencer and his family.
Originally, all members of the team were planning to go, but conflicting schedules whittled down the number of players able to make the trip. As it stood, Coach MacDonald along with players Danny McNamara, Duncan White, Austin Cotie, Pablo Guerra, and Rory McIntosh made the long drive.
“We’re so thankful that Spence is still with us and doing so well with his recovery,” MacDonald said. “He’s got a way to go, but he’s doing super well. He’s working hard to comeback from it all.”
Like the wisemen in the Bible, the Richmond athletes came bearing gifts including a brand new Hurricane jersey with an ‘A’ on the chest. Actually, they had a bit more apparel than that with them.
“I talked to Daniel [at Ross Screenprint] last week, and he went above and beyond for the team after he heard Spencer’s story,” said MacDonald. “He let me put the ‘A’ on the jersey, knowing we were going up on the weekend.
“He had made up sweaters for Spencer’s parents [Shannon and Troy], siblings, and girlfriend. He also put a card in with it that he told me not to open until we got there.
“I figured the card was a donation to the family, but Shannon opened it up and handed me the cheque. The cheque was for the team — to be able to go out to supper for all we did over the last few months.”
The weekend trip wasn’t the first time the school and community reached out to assist Spencer and his family. A GoFundMe campaign is on the go, and the school hosted a skating party and an exhibition hockey game between the Hurricane and Sydney Academy, which itself offered a silent auction and bake sale.
The GoFundMe campaign can be found by visiting ca.gofundme.com and searching for “Support Spencer’s Road to Recovery.”
In addition to his contribution to high school sports, the 17-year-old McNamara made waves in the Richmond Amateur Baseball Association during the 2018 season. Playing with the Port Hawkesbury Bucs, he was named rookie of the year.