A Look At: Vipers’ Forward Eric Kirby – by C. Scott Holland

In this his sophomore season with the LaSalle Vipers, centre and right winger Eric Kirby has already exceeded his output from last year.

The 18 year-old, 6 ft. forward, who hails from Riverside on the outskirts of Windsor, is presently studying biochemistry at the University of Windsor, is another GOJHL player who realized that time management is crucial if playing hockey and juggling academics. “I balance my school and hockey so that in my free time I’m getting things done,” he stated.

His favourite NHL player is Simon Gagne. “He’s a great winger for my favourite team – the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s the reason I wear jersey number 12.”

This year Eric has taken on more responsibility with the Vipers too. He was named one of the team’s assistant captains and in 30 contests in which he’s appeared has notched 13 goals and collected 15 assists. As well, his low 6 penalty minutes is one of the best for forwards in the West Conference.

His favourite place in which to play? He said, “Sarnia. It’s an older, smaller rink with small ice surface which leads to more battles. Plus they usually have many loud fans.”

Conversely, he detests: “St. Marys – It’s a long bus ride on Friday nights.”

His hockey career has one notable highlight. “Making it to the Sutherland Cup finals last season,” he stated before adding, “I did make it to the OMHA finals in PeeWee.”

He knows exactly what he contributes to the Vipers as a player.  “I’m a hard-working player that gives it his all every shift. I’m solid defensively and on the PK (penalty-kill) but can also score.”

Despite realizing what assets he has, also he has considered his weaknesses. “I need to improve my skating and quickness. You can always be faster as a player.”

Looking ahead to his own future, he said, “A decade from now, I’d like to become a doctor, or doing research in the sciences, but still plan on finding time to play some hockey.”

With a hard work ethic already instilled in him, Eric Kirby should certainly succeed in obtaining his dream and if he can find time to play some hockey on the side, more power to him!

All the best to Eric and his teammates in their future endeavours from the West Conference and GOJHL.

(photo credit – Colleen Wiendels Photography – Strathroy Rockets facebook)

C.C. Scott Holland is an accomplished author, a former Western Jr. B Hockey League statistician and is recognized as the West Conference’s and GOJHL’s historian. A lifelong resident of Leamington Scott was a journalist for the now defunct Leamington Post for 26 years and currently writes for the Southpoint Sun. Among the books he has authored are: 75 Years: A History of the Leamington and Erie Shores Golf Course; A Century In The Making – History of Heinz Canada 1909-2009; Leamington Flyers 1992/93-2011/12 Platinum Anniversary Special Program; the Western Jr. B Record Book 2003/04 and 2005/05 editions; as well as updates of both the West Conference and GOJHL Record Books. He was been a member of he Leamington Jr. Flyers hockey club for the last 27 years and served many years as a board member, statistician, press box announcer, and scorekeeper among other duties. He has been named the West Conference Volunteer of Year and a Windsor-Essex Sportsperson of Year award. He resides in Leamington with his wife Susan. He can be reached at: cttocsh1@yahoo.ca

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