Cole Schwebius called it a dream come true when he was acquired by his hometown Rockets last May at the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft.
“Ever since I was little, going to Kelowna Rockets games, it is something I wanted to do, maybe wanted to be a part of,” said Schwebius following the trade. “I knew there was a chance that I could be moved, but to be dealt to my hometown team is a dream come true, it’s an honour.”
Fast forward to October 2020 and Schwebius continues to say that it’s a dream come true.
“It was a year I won’t forget, that’s for sure. It was unfortunate that it was cut short because it was going to be a pretty amazing opportunity to host the Memorial Cup. With that being said, I enjoyed every second of it, my teammates were amazing, and it was so cool to play here in the Okanagan.”
He embraced playing for the city that he calls home, attending community events on the regular and putting in the work on the ice.
He picked up his first career WHL shutout with a 1-0 win over the Victoria Royals on October 30, 2019.
Schwebius appeared in 21 games for the Rockets during the 2019-20 campaign, posting a 7-11-0-0 record with a 3.57 goals-against average and .898 save percentage.
For his efforts in the community, Schewebius was awarded the first Foursight Supply Co. Community Player of the Month watch last November.
He typically takes time off at the end of the season, so the lack of ice when things were shut down in March didn’t really impact him.
“I don’t go on the ice for the first two months of the summer anyways, with Covid-19 and everything it didn’t really impact me that much. Once the rinks opened up, that was about the time I would start going on the ice anyway.
“I spent the first couple months of the off-season really focusing on recovering from the season and making sure the body and everything was feeling good, doing a little bit of rehab work as well. Starting from the ground up and getting bigger and stronger. I had a lot of time to train and go on the ice, an extra off-season means that there’s more time to train and get stronger.”
In addition to training for the upcoming hockey season, he also spent his summer working on an orchard.
“Anytime you get to spend the summer in the Okanagan it’s pretty nice, we’re pretty lucky here. I had the pleasure of working on an orchard this past summer, fresh fruit all the time was nice. I was picking cherries, apples, pears, peaches, the whole thing. I had a nice farmers tan going for a while there.
Obviously, with Covid-19 it wasn’t the best summer, but I think it was very productive. It’s not the most fun job in the world, but it’s nice to be outside. I was learning a little bit of a different skillset other than that of being on the ice and working out all of the time, it was a nice change.”
Now that his job at the orchard has come to an end and the WHL has a start date on January 8, 2021, Schwebius’ full attention is on the Rockets starting role.
“For next season I want to make sure that I go in and give the team a chance to win every single game I’m out there. I’m really going to be pushing for the starting role, that’s my goal ultimately. I think I’ve put in a lot of great work in the offseason and that it’s going to be a great year.”