Helena High senior Dane Rieger is playing his second season as a Helena Bighorns defenseman. The 6-ft., 200-lb. lefty has already set career-highs for goals and assists.
“The hockey here is fantastic and just physical and it’s a great group of guys. We try and do a lot of community-service things and I can’t do a ton of them because I’m in school,” said Dane.
Dane does get involved in his own way. This is his third year volunteering in the classroom at Smith School.
“I normally spend like an hour and a half there just doing whatever they want. Sometimes I help the kids with reading. Sometimes I take them outside and play games,” said Dane.
Second-grade teacher Anna Thennis says her kids eagerly anticipate Dane’s Friday afternoon visits.
“I’m sure he enjoys it but they fight over who gets to be with him and they can’t wait. He’s so respectful of what they need and their struggles and he’s encouraging and just a real positive role model,” said Mrs. Thennis.
Bighorns head coach Bob Richards says the team encourages players to engage in the community.
“It gives these guys here a chance to kind of help out and be able to see an impact they can have on the younger kids’ lives … and when they see smiles on the kid’s faces it basically makes everybody’s day better,” said Coach Richards.
Dane says he wants to attend Montana State and study nursing. For now, he looks forward to time spent helping children learn.
“As time’s gone on I’ve been able to do more with the kids so that’s been good. It’s fun to see the kids so happy. It’s really good for them,” said Dane.
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