The Sherwood Park Crusaders are turning the page on a new chapter.
Last Friday (Nov.26), the Crusaders announced that head coach and general manager, Adam Manah, was moving on from the organization. As a result, Jeff Woywitka and Adam Sergerie have been named head coach and general manager, respectively.
Sergerie explained the decision was amicable, and the team wished Manah well.
"When we looked at philosophies and alignment, I think maybe Adam saw it a little bit differently in terms of the direction the organization wanted to go in," Sergerie said. "His stock is still high as a coach; he's had a tonne of success in this league and clearly knows how to coach and win hockey games."
Manah joined the Crusaders in 2015 as an associate coach under Tim Fragle. When Fragle left just before the 2016/2017 season, Manah was promoted to head coach. One year later, he also stepped into the role of assistant general manager.
In his five seasons, Manah led the Crusaders to a 168-104-11 record. In 2019-2020, the Crusaders broke the franchise's record for the most wins, with 49 wins, along with being the top-ranked team in the overall CJHL rankings.
In addition, during Manah's tenure, the Crusaders became a hot spot for developing NCAA talent, with 12 players joining Division I schools in the 2019-20 season. The list has grown to more than 35 commitments in the last five years.
The Crusaders have an 11-15-1 record this season. As they prepare to play the Bonnyville Pontiacs on Friday, Sergerie said the Crusaders will have to be "very wary" of making mistakes against the Pontiacs. He described Bonnyville as a mature team with a skill level that can hurt the Crusader's chances of winning if they're not careful.
The puck drops in Vermillion at 7 p.m.