FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEST KELOWNA B.C. – The West Kelowna Warriors Junior ‘A’ Hockey club is excited to announce Alumni Spotlight. Alumni Spotlight will be an ongoing feature with questionnaires from their time with the Warriors to where they are today.
The first Warriors Alumni Spotlight features Kevin Walrod, a West Kelowna native who went on to play college with Michigan State and capped off his playing career with the pros in the East Coast Hockey League(ECHL).
Warriors 2006-2008, 113 Games 32G 53A 85Pts
Michigan State NCAA, 123 Games 16G 28A 44Pts
ECHL, 91 Games 18G 24A 42Pts
Why did you choose the Warriors?
Being a local West Kelowna resident my whole life, I was drawn to the opportunity to play for my home town junior hockey team in their inaugural season.
What is your fondest hockey memory as a Warrior?
My fondest memory as a Warrior would have to be the buzz in the community during our playoff appearance in 2008. Stepping onto the ice for the first game in a sold out, brand new Royal Lepage Place is a memory that I’ll have forever.
What was your favorite West Kelowna restaurant as a Warrior?
Boston Pizza hosted a post-game show after every home game, which all of the players attended. You can’t go wrong with a fresh pepperoni pizza after a hard fought win!
What was the transition like from BCHL to College?
The jump from BCHL to College was an adjustment to say the least. You go from just playing hockey, to juggling a full course load after being away from a classroom for a few years. The level of skill and pace in the game itself is on a whole other level. This generated the growth and experience that was key to my development as player and as a person.
What is your most memorable College or Pro hockey moment?
Being a Michigan State Spartan, it’s hard to even explain the type of rivalry we experienced every time we stepped on the ice to play the University of Michigan Wolverines. From inside our college arenas, to playing them at Joe Louis arena every Boxing Day, to playing an outdoor game in front of 110,000 fans at the University of Michigan football stadium (“The Big House”)…..Which still holds the outdoor hockey game attendance record to this day!
Where was your favorite place you played Pro?
I played 2 full seasons for the Reading Royals in the ECHL. Reading is a blue collar city located in Pennsylvania with a lot of character and it showed in the way the fans supported our team. It was also only a couple hours away from some major cities like Philadelphia and New York City, which I was able to experience the cultures of these cities during my down time there.
What made you elect to retire from hockey?
I ate, slept and breathed hockey from the time I was able to walk, all the way to the time I decided to retire in 2015. As hard of a decision it was to make, it was time for me to transition to another career path in my life.
What are you up to now?
After my last season in Reading in 2015, I decided to move back to beautiful Kelowna, BC and utilize my marketing degree I earned while going to school in Michigan. Currently, I am a Business Development Representative for Sherwin-Williams. On my time off, I play a lot of golf and enjoy the lake, mountains and everything else Kelowna has to offer.
Which 2 former Warriors teammates would you quarantine with if you had to?
1) Brad Plumton, in case of an apocalypse and needing the use of his fists to fend off any threats.
2) Ron Kelly because if food became an issue, we would have an endless supply of fresh farmed goods!