For most kids, they’ll have one or two sports idols in their life. For some, maybe a few more. But for one kid, he looks up to over 20 young men each year when the Aberdeen Wings take to the ice.
Parker Odde, son of Aberdeen Wings vice-president Chris Odde and grandson of Wings owner Greg Odde is just that kid who has numerous sports idols. He also never forgets one of them. Not their name. Nor their jersey number. He probably knows all of their hometowns too.
Each season, Parker Odde (9 years old) leads the Aberdeen Wings onto the ice by carrying the flag featuring the Wings logo. If you’ve ever been to a home game, you’ve seen this and his signature turn on the skates and fist pump. But for Parker, the opportunity means a lot more to him than just skating onto the ice with the team. It’s about being around the players.
“All of them”, said Parker when asked who his favorite player was. The Aberdeen Wings in just four seasons has been blessed with great individuals, and some of those stand out to Parker but he loves them all.
Last Saturday, following the 7-6 shootout win for the Wings, the team held their annual game-worn jersey auction. Each player’s jersey was auctioned off to the over 1,600 in attendance. As the final jersey sold, the crowd was told there was one more jersey to auction off. Young Parker Odde wanted to offer his jersey to auction with proceeds going to Zach Kraft, a former Aberdeen Wings player who was diagnosed with brain cancer early this year.
A benefit for Zach Kraft was held March 14th at the Odde Ice Center as the Wings took on Brookings. Former teammates and Wings fans stepped forward to help raise funds. Wings players Dillon Eichstadt, Jake Horton, and Jonathan Grebosky each donated their 2014 NAHL Top Prospects jerseys to be auctioned off with proceeds going to the fundraiser. Also, through the kindness of Robin and Larry Hanson and their friend Tammy Doerr, Kraft’s original #19 game-worn jersey was donated to the fundraiser with raffle tickets being sold.
Last Saturday, the Aberdeen Wings community stepped up again, including Parker Odde.
It was one of the highest selling jerseys of the night.