Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Special Christmas Thank You to Players Past and Present, With Christmas Pictures and Video

On this special day of love, compassion and hope, I want to say Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all from Barry the Blogger. My wish is for everyone to be able to spend time with family and friends. My thoughts are with those in the military, first responders, and so many others like my labor and delivery nurse daughter who will be working today. I am also thinking this morning about those that have lost loved ones and those who are far away from family.

Today will be light on hockey but heavy on hockey players past and present. The Allen Americans have brought so much joy to the community over the years and the joy is much more than four straight championships and success on the ice. The players and their families have been great ambassadors for the team and the game of hockey. North Texas is lucky to have the Allen Americans.

- You can't miss when writing a Christmas day blog by starting out with a puppy story. It will be a  Christmas to remember for Allen Americans tough guy Derek Mathers who like most tough guys is a super nice guy off the ice. Derek is in Allentown, Pennsylvania for Christmas visiting his girlfriend, Jade, and their newly adopted puppy, whose name is Dallas. Dallas along with his mother and six litter mates were rescued from the recent wildfires in Tennessee by Jade's mom who is very active in helping lost and rescued dogs. The best part of the story is Jade and Dallas will be moving to Allen to join Derek. A big Texas welcome to Jade and Dallas!

Dallas is moving to Dallas
Jade and Dallas will be joining Derek in Allen

As I was reflecting on what to write about on this Christmas Day, I noticed how many messages there are on social media about spending the holidays with friends and families. That is not true for many hockey players as the Christmas break does not allow enough time to get back home. Friends and family all too often are teammates and their families which is great, but not the same as friends and family back home. Being a minor pro hockey player truly is a "hard knock life" and the current season has been a challenge for the team both on and off the ice.

So THANK YOU to all players (and their families) past and present for what you have done for the fans of the Allen Americans both on the ice and in the community. There have been over 200 players in Allen since the franchise started in 2009. It has been quite a ride. One of the benefits of writing a blog is getting to know many of the players and their families and with social media it is easy to feel connected even when they move on. The following is a small sample of Christmas time with players and their families past and present.

The Costello's - 2016 - Camden, Avery, Ashley (front), Chad & Cayne (back)

This was posted in 2014 by the Allen Americans - only Gary Steffes (lower left) remains

Aaron Gens and soon to be Mrs Gens (in July) Kellie Wyatt - 2016

London, Whitney, Harper & Bruce Graham - Nottingham, England 2012

Graham kids 2016 - Harper, Beckett, London

Eric Roy and his girlfriend Alisha - 2016

Nicole, Sawyer & Sutter Schaafsma - 2014

Sutter, Sawyer, Sullivan Schaafsma with mom Nicole where else but at a hockey game - 2016

Jackson Gill loves Santa - 2016

Jackson Gill's first Christmas with Angie, Riley & dog Guinny - 2015

Holly, Beau, Lynden & Trevor Ludwig - 2016
Lynden's first Christmas and skate with dad, Trevor Ludwig - 2014

The most famous dog in Allen history, Pearl (@Pearlilicious11), was Phil Fox's "wing dog"

The "original" Jarret Lukin - 2016

- No better way to end today and put a smile on your face than with an Ice Angels Christmas performance. This one is from 2015. Enjoy!

Once again thank you, thank, you, thank you to all players past and present for the sacrifices you have made to follow your dreams and the joy you have brought to the fans in Allen on and off the ice. Your determination on the ice and kindness off the ice is both noticed and appreciated. May this Christmas day be a joyous one for you and yours!

Happy Holidays from Barry the Blogger


  1. Thanks and Merry Christmas, Barry.

    And Merry Christmas to all of the players and families past & present.

  2. Thanks for all you do Barry. Your informative articles allow the Americans fans insight shared by very few fans of other teams.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family. Let's hope that 2017 brings the Drive for Five to fruition!

  3. Merry Christmas to you, Nancy, and family. I believe in our team and Martyr and know 2017 be a good year for all of us.

  4. Oops, auto correct changed Marty to Martyr! (Although he has been somewhat so far, lol)