2014 Scott Smith Award – Pete Plamondon
I began my own hockey “career” at the age of 7 when my father, Pete Sr., who grew up in Chicago, thought that I should learn to ice skate. My earliest memory of being on skates was here in this very same spot, Cabin John Ice Rink, when it was an open air rink. My first skates had twin blades on them. Dad was an original organizer of what became the Montgomery County Youth Hockey league in the late 1960s that played at Cabin John and Wheaton Ice rink, another semi-enclosed rink run by the park service.
I played hockey as a young boy right through my years in high school at Georgetown Prep. During my four years at Prep – 1973 to 1977, since the school wouldn’t have a team for many, many years in the future, I played for the Wheaton Blue Devils. I thoroughly enjoyed the sport, though my Prep friends would have to travel off campus to see me play. When I graduated from Prep in 1977 to attend Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, I thought it’d be a good idea to attend a meeting for walk-ons for the JV team. During the one and only meeting that I attended, each individual mentioned their home town. When I heard repeatedly the names such as Toronto, Montreal, Boston, etc., I quickly realized that my Cornell hockey career would consist of one off ice meeting. I then volunteered to be a scorer for the team which meant that I could get free season tickets and not pay for them!
As an adult, I took up the game again in an over 30 league in Montgomery County which usually meant that our ice time began at 10:30pm at the earliest. I hung in there for many years through the births of our four children. Usually, Gail would be going to bed and I would be going out the door to play until midnight or the like. When our fourth child, Jeffrey was born, that was the time that I decided to “hang up the skates” due to sheer exhaustion trying to balance work, hockey, family and SLEEP.
Thankfully for me, I got to get back involved with the game when Jeff decided to take up hockey as a youngster. I even got to take the ice during some practices and assistant coach from the bench when called upon. During that time, my four McNamara nephews started their hockey careers at Prep which brought me to see hockey games of my Alma Mater. It was a great thrill to see varsity hockey at Prep. My father helped the program early on during those formative years of the program and when Jeff got into Prep and joined the hockey program, I was thrilled to connect even more.
I am so proud of the progress that Prep has made from the earliest years of forming the team when Mr. Fegan would only allow it to be formed if the families raised all the money to make it happen until being granted a varsity status. I have even come back to play in the Scott Smith game for many years. I recall the first game that I played, along with my younger brother Jim, that as I was arriving late for the game Jim said he had some good news and some bad news. The good news that the start time was delayed so I wouldn’t be late, the bad news was that I’d be the oldest one on the ice by about 20 years!
I have had the privilege of sending two sons to Prep – Tripp ’11 and Jeff ’13. My company that I own with my brother is a second generation hospitality business with Roy Rogers restaurants and Marriott and Hilton branded hotels. My wife Gail, and our two daughters Amy and Meg, along with our boys are our legacy. I am most humbled to be the recipient of this year’s Scott Smith award named for a great supporter of Georgetown Prep hockey and I hope to support the program for many, many more years.