Wapun Johns has been a mainstay at La Ronge Ice Wolves games for years.
If you have ever been to a game at the Mel Hegland Uniplex featuring the Ice Wolves, you can’t miss her cheering on the SJHL team with her signature wolf hat.
“One of the biggest things in her life is the hockey team, she just lives and breathes it,” said Randy Johns, who is Wapun’s dad. “It gives her something to believe in and something to think about all the time — and a cause to get involved in. It’s really so good to see what a hockey team can do for special needs people. I think that really shows what a junior team does for a community — the impact and the connection that the team makes with people.”
Wapun has Sotos syndrome, but that doesn’t slow her down.
If you happen to be at the rink early before a game, you will see Wapun interacting with the players and getting them pumped up.
“It’s part of her day, every day,” said Randy Johns. “When the season’s on, she goes to every practice and she goes to every game. She goes early to the games and helps the guys, kind of pumps up the guys. She sees that as her job, she lives and breathes the team.”
Having Wapun around the team means a lot to players like La Ronge forward Spencer Kennedy, who has his number on Wapun’s jersey.
“Wapun loves hockey and loves her Ice Wolves,” said Kennedy. “She came to every practice this year and watched us. She was at every home game and even lots of road ones. When playoffs came around and she got to throw out the fish, she loved that job! It’s crazy how a team and sport can bring people together. Even on hard days after a loss — or even one of Killer’s bag skates, she would be standing at the gate with a smile cheering us on. She just loved to support us. It’s fans like Wapun that make playing junior hockey so fun!”
Wapun says she is looking forward to next season.
“Yes I am, I’m very excited to see the boys,” said Wapun.
Hockey is on pause right now, but one thing is clear, when hockey returns, Wapun will be back at the rink cheering on her Wolves.
(PHOTO: Wapun Johns cheering on the Ice Wolves this past season. Photo courtesy of Brandon White.)