Trujillo honored with Turgeon scholarship award
By Matt Mackinder
Colorado Rubber Hockey Magazine
Kayla Trujillo knew Liz Turgeon, but never thought she’d be recognized with the memorial scholarship award named in her honor.
That all changed recently when Trujillo, a forward on the Colorado Select’s 16U AAA team, was presented with the Elizabeth “Liz” Turgeon Scholarship Award, which is given to a player in the program who best exemplifies an outstanding positive attitude, sportsmanship, unparalleled compassion for her teammates, unequaled work ethic and a competitive nature that brings out the best in her team.
Trujillo was nominated for the accolade by her 14U AAA coaches Michelle and Jarrett Pohle. A selection board made the final decision on the $1,500 award.
“I first found out I’d been awarded the scholarship when (Select director of hockey) Marnie Hill told me,” said Trujillo. “I was completely shocked and honored.
“When I was on the 12U AAA team, I remember going to the 19U AAA games and telling my parents that I wanted to be as good as Liz and now, to get this award, proves that my hard work in trying to be like my role model is paying off.”
Liz Turgeon, the daughter of former Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre Turgeon, died in a car accident in December of 2010.
Katie McGovern won the inaugural award last season as a member of the Select’s 19U AAA team.
“Liz was a stud, on and off the ice, and she was a great friend to me,” said Trujillo. “I remember when I was on the 12U team and she was a 19U, they would come to our practices and, one day, her power-play pal wasn’t there and my power-play pal wasn’t there, and we were doing sled races so she pulled me and we won every time. We both had a blast.
“Liz also had the best personality, no matter what the situation called for. She was such a great person who everyone loved to be around.”
This season with the Selects, Trujillo has adjusted well to the 16U AAA level despite recently recovering from elbow surgery.
“We might not be the best yet, but we’ve definitely improved,” Trujillo said. “I have a long ways to go, personally, but I'm working hard to get back to the level I was before the surgery.
“I think my biggest strength on the ice is being able to read what’s happening and reacting to it quickly. I also think I’m a good communicator.”
Trujillo got her start in the sport playing roller hockey at a young age.
“When I was little, my uncle made fun of me because I was enrolled in dancing and my cousins, Adam and Nicole, were both playing hockey,” Trujillo remembered. “I use to go to their games and watch, then my uncle convinced my parents to sign me up for rec league inline hockey. After a while, I got good at that and signed up to play competitive inline hockey.”
Trujillo is focused on working hard to improve her game to the point where she can hopefully attract the attention of some college coaches in the coming years.
“My parents are always telling me to keep my grades up and then, with the hockey, it’ll help me get into a good school and, hopefully, get a scholarship,” Trujillo said.
“My parents also are always telling me that getting an education is a lot more important than hockey because for girls, the farthest we can go is college hockey and, for some, to play on the U.S National Team.
“It’s really important for me to get a good education so I can get a good job after I get out of college.”
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