It’s never too late to live out a dream. Just ask South Glens Falls, New York native Shawn Weller the next time you potentially run into him around town.
When it comes to the definition of his hometown, Weller defined it as “hardworking”.
“It’s a hardworking mentality, you’ve got Finch Pruyn right behind us, hockey’s been here for 40 something years, the Adirondack Red Wings we’re here when I was kid, and way before then these people know good hockey, they’ve seen good hockey, You can’t trick them here, they’ve been here before and they get it”.
At 35 years old at the time, Shawn Weller finally got to live out his dream of playing on hometown ice after multiple journey stops that included the towns of many AHL, ECHL and just like his teammate Colin Long a few stops in Germany before coming back to America during a pandemic.
His best friend Logan Carpenter a graduate of South Glens Falls, died in a ATV crash in 2019. Carpenter gave him the motivation at the age of 36, to play in his backyard.
One of the things every-time the best friends would talk he’d ask “when are you going to play for the Thunder?’ I kind of wish he could be here to watch me play.” Weller stated.
“The first game I played after he passed away, I scored a goal. I gave him a shoutout”, I write his name on my sticks, and I know he’s with me every day. It means a lot to me to know he was always there for me, and I know he’s thinking about me.”
Gone are the days of trying to figure out when to contact family members and friends due to time zones, trying to plan out holiday visits and what family members are coming out to visit him and his fiancée Kaytlin in Germany. This past summer the entire Weller clan, didn’t have to worry about any of that. It was a quick phone call or surprise visit across the bridge.
“It’s awesome, I stayed here all summer; we had a good group of guys that I actually hung around in the area to skate and train and it was a great summer for a lot of us and we’re excited to get things rolling here”.
His feelings with Pete MacArthur behind the bench as a former teammate and former captain, the word used “awesome”.
“To be honest, I think it’s going to be awesome, I think it’s going to be really good, I think he knows the personnel really well, he’s played all over the country, played all over the world and he knows a lot about the game, he knows a lot about hockey, I think he’s going to really really good especially with our young guys with development and our older guys will push him on what he wants them to do (developmentally) with the young guys”.
On January 12th 2022 Weller was traded to his hometown team that he’d always wish that he could play for ever since being a little kid. Going the other way was future considerations which turned out to be forward Luke Stevens.
“I was at the arena when I was 4 and 5 years old, watching the Adirondack Red Wings and just hoping to play out there one day”.
The now 36 year old, forward and South Glens Falls native is now in his 15th professional season and if you were to ask the 2004, 3rd round draft pick selected at 77 overall if it would take him this long to play for his hometown team, I think his answer would’ve been “no, way”.
Even when American Hockey League was in Glens Falls, Weller as a member of the Binghamton Senators or St. John’s Icecaps when the Phantoms played them at the Cool Insuring Arena, Weller didn’t play in those games.
Dating back to his high school hockey playing days at the Glens Falls Rec Center and at the then Glens Falls Civic Center, Shawn was always the talk around town when it came to hockey. Everyone wanted to see Shawn play. My first big memories of Shawn are when he would come around the halls of South Glens Falls High School, which we’re far and few between with his busy hockey schedule but I remember when he was still playing in the AHL, he would come up to the wrestling room, and talk to us as a team during his AHL holiday break. One other big memory I can remember is just what he gave to Jim Woodard, (Mr. Woodard) is what I still call him to this day, for everything he gave to his classroom in the sports department and for Future Business Leaders of America.
The Weller family is certainly a wrestling family, almost everyone within the community has some sort of tie in. For myself as a South Glens Falls graduate it was Coach (Howard) Weller, giving me as much as advice as he could as someone who wanted to tryout wrestling having cerebral palsy. His words then and still are to me “Bulldog Tough”. Furthermore his daughter Carly was a camp counselor at Double H Ranch for a few years so it’s easy to say the Weller family has a place in my heart.
“I just kind of think back here to when I was a sophomore in high school for South Glens Falls, winning a Section II Championship against Glens Falls”.
With Weller at the tail end of his hockey career, it’s at the point where family and friend matter the most.
“For them to be able to come watch me play at home, for them it’s only a five-minute drive down the road, that means a lot to me, and just for the people around the community that have been following me around my career, it means a lot”.
Weller finished with stating it’s going to be a really good year.
Adirondack’s home opener is tomorrow night at 7:00pm against the Worcester Railers at the Cool Insuring Arena. Seth “The Shadow” Cooper and John Pratt will be down at the arena broadcasting live before puck drop at 5:00pm-6:00pm. Join us before right on Bill Dinnen Way!
A big thank you to Shawn who also stopped by the Hits 95.9 Studio’s this afternoon!