Adam Manah was glad to be caught in the middle.
The head coach of the Sherwood Park Crusaders had an up-and-down season on his first year in the position, as his team had a sluggish start, rebounded in the middle with a terrific run, but then had some player personnel issues and major holes in the lineup in a slide down the stretch and were knocked out of the Alberta Junior Hockey League playoffs in the first round by the Bonnyville Pontiacs.
However, that run in the middle helped the team to an overall record of 32-25-3 — good enough to see Manah and fellow first-year associate coach Jeff Woywitka officially re-upped for another year behind the bench by the Crusaders this week.
“We’re happy to have both of them back on board,” said Crusaders GM, governor and president of hockey operations Kyle Chase. “There was a bit of adversity at the end, but they did a really good job. If you look at Adam’s record as a first-year head coach in our league, and being one of the youngest people ever to be a head coach, it speaks volumes. Our previous coach (now NAIT Ooks head coach Tim Fragle) only had two seasons out of his seven with the team that the Crusaders had a better record than Adam did in his first year.