David Brace of Plymouth Hockey, 3/8 Home Life Athlete of the Week
Three games into the 2016-17 Plymouth preseason hockey season, David Brace knocked on the door of his coach’s office and asked if he could speak to him.
Head coach Darrin Silvester let him into his office, just after coaching the team to their third straight loss.
“He sits down,” recalls Silvester. “He’s the youngest on the team – he’s only in eighth – and he’s like, ‘I just want you to know that I hate to lose, and we have to find something now.'”
And Brace is gone. Silvester was stunned, looking at his other coaches and saying, “We just found one of our assistant captains.”
From the moment Brace joined the Plymouth hockey program, he had that effect on people: intrinsic leadership, which currently runs the well-oiled Wildcat hockey machine throughout the 2021 season as captain of team.
For some, Brace is the “first legitimate captain” they’ve ever had.
“When David speaks, everyone stops and listens,” Silvester said. “I may not name him an All-State Advocate, but I will name him an All-State Person.
The head coach said the Plymouth senior was doing the little things: talking with the players on the ice after a practice or a game without a coach in sight, brushing teammates aside, congratulating them on the ups and being there for them for a while. the socks.
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But for Brace, it’s not about him. It’s an “us” thing, he says. It’s about the team.
“Everyone does their part, everyone does their job,” said Brace. “There isn’t a single big star. It is usually not one person who gets all the fame. ”
Brace’s role is as a leader, something he learned growing up with hockey in his blood, lacrosse as a goal and parent education as his example.
Growing up, the Plymouth elder described his mother, Anne, as “the most selfless woman I have ever met”, constantly showing him how important it is to show this to those around him, by passing the points on. everyone else’s needs before your own.
Anne Brace passed away on November 10, 2019, changing David’s outlook on life and his view of the importance of a team.
“I remember last year they were all very supportive and that helped a lot,” said Brace. “Without this support system from my team and the people around me, I don’t know: that would have been a different story.”
At Anne Brace’s funeral, Silvester remembered that she wanted it to be a celebration. She wanted to find the right in every situation. That, the Plymouth head coach said, was passed on to his youngest son.
“There are few, including me, who would be able to do this,” SIlvester said. “But he does. He finds the positive light, he finds the positive twist.
“It’s a gift from his mother to him.”
That class and character, that spirit of his late mother living through him, prompted Silvester to apply for the position of Plymouth Hockey Head Coach, putting his name in the running only if Brace was his team captain.
But for Brace, taking the ice cream each day is an act of gratitude for what the program continues to help him through each day.
“That’s why I’m so grateful to come see the kids every day because they’ve helped me through this time,” said Brace. “I want to give everything back to them, like they did to me.”
When Brace returned to the ice as a senior captain, that was his focus, even after losing a lot of key contributors last season. His goal was to win a regional title – the first at Plymouth since the 2012-13 season.
But he, personally, will not define the success of the team. That’s what drew Brace to hockey and lacrosse – the sport he wants to play at the college level.
He doesn’t have to do it all on his own.
“Once we get started and everyone’s doing their job it’s scary to play against,” said Brace. “It’s so cool to see everyone come together.”
Brace won the Athlete of the Week award the week of March 8, receiving 20,783 of 51,204 votes cast (40.59%).
Nate Erskine, senior hockey player from Novi, finished second with 18,037 votes (35.23%), while Andrew Turnquist, sophomore Lakeland boys basketball, got 10,745 votes for third place (20.98%).
Mercy basketball player Maddie Kenney was fourth, while Northville bowler Brandon Leavitt was fifth.