SPOTLIGHT: Graham Dickerson
Hockey or baseball?
Growing up Graham and his older brother Drew both played Hockey and baseball. Drew was better at hockey, Graham was better at baseball. Guess which sport each of them picked?
“Drew was the hockey guy and I was more of a baseball guy, but he loved baseball, and I loved hockey,” Graham laughed. “My parents were bigger fans of baseball, mainly because of the warm weather, but they supported me in my decision and are behind me the whole way. I had to follow my passion.”
Graham has always looked up to his brother, Drew. He still looks to him for motivation, and as someone he can go to in a time of need.
“My older brother, Drew, plays D1 baseball for Youngstown State University, so he knows what it takes to make it to the next level,” said Graham.
“He is the one who pushed me to get better. Whenever I didn’t want to work out, he would push me to go.”
Graham chose to pursue hockey competitively, but he has found a way to continue with baseball too.
“I stopped playing baseball in about grade 8, but I still play high school ball,” smiled Graham. “When I go back this summer, I’ll play on the team for the season. Baseball has helped me with my hockey. It helps me work on different skills like my hand-eye and stuff like that.”
Whether Graham was making a decision between baseball and hockey, or just what he wants to eat for dinner, his parents have always supported him. His dad continues to remind him of the moment he knew Graham had the motivation to go to the next level.
“It was novice AAA tryouts, and I was so nervous being on the ice with kids I didn’t know,” said Graham. “We were doing this drill where you skate forwards, then backwards and on the first stop, I fell. I got up and skated as hard as I could and beat everyone. That was the moment I knew I had that ERR.”
Graham defines ERR as the motivation to push yourself past your limits. It’s the moment when you know you will do anything to get better.
It hasn’t always been easy for Graham and that ERR doesn’t come without adversity. A couple of years ago Graham got really sick.
“When I was in grade 9, I was in the hospital for two weeks. I had major kidney and liver problems, but the doctors still don’t know what happened,” said Graham.
“Seeing my parents get upset and experiencing the doctor coming into the room saying that he has Sick Kids on the phone and we might have to take you there was a lot to handle. I was out from sports for a while. It was hard, but I leaned on my support system and was able to overcome it. I am totally fine now.”
It’s in moments like those that you truly find your character. Graham is a very positive and humble young man, who is grateful for the opportunity to dress for the Blueshirts.
He will also never forget the day he got the call that he was heading to Kitchener.
“I was in my class, and over the announcements, I heard, ‘Graham Dickerson can you please come to the office.’ I thought I was in trouble and I didn’t know what was going on,” laughed Graham.
“I got down to the office, and my mom was on the phone to tell me that the Kitchener Rangers want me for the game the next day. I went back to class, I was all flustered and just so excited. My buddy looked at me and said, “This is it, man, you’re going!”