A natural leader who always put others first.
That is how Vancouver Giants defenceman Alex Kannok Leipert described a former teammate who was one of the victims of the tragic Humboldt bus crash last week.
Kannok Leipert was talking in a hushed tone on Monday about Adam Herold, his teammate and defence partner with the major midget Regina Pat Canadians in 2016/17.
“He was always the most humble guy in the room,” Kannok Leipert said. “He never overstepped or anything. He had this certain glow to him that could make anyone smile at any time.”
Kannok Leipert was driving back with his grandfather to Regina from Vancouver on Friday when he learned of the crash.
Herold had only recently joined the Broncos, after his team’s major midget season came to an end, playing one regular season and eight playoff games.
“I wasn’t sure who was on the bus at that time and then a lot of my old teammates started texting me and told me that Adam was on the bus.
“I was just hoping and praying that he wasn’t taken … it was pretty tough to hear that he didn’t make it.”
Herold would have turned 17 on April 12.
He was one year younger than Kannok Leipert, who turns 18 this summer.
And growing up, the pair played against one another before becoming teammates with the Pat Canadians, and defence partners. With Herold by his side, Kannok Leipert had a great season, winning the Saskatchewan Midget top defenceman award.
They used to drive to the rink together in Regina.
On Sunday, Kannok Leipert joined the Pat Canadians team members from both last season and this past year, in visiting the Herold house and a vigil in Montmarte, Sask.
Having spent countless hours on bus rides to and from games, Kannok Leipert said a tragedy such as this never even crosses the players’ minds.
“You never really think about it and then all of a sudden, it can change in a split second,” he said. “It is just awful.
“I am just really sorry for those families that were affected and hope everyone can get together and get through this.”