Hockey teams honor Max Renauldo’s legacy

The Calvin hockey program offered an emotional tribute to Max Renauldo last Friday before the Division III team’s first game of the year. Renauldo was a goalie his freshman year, and he stayed connected to the hockey program even after he stopped playing. He died on August 23 of this year. He would have been a senior.

Seniors Brennan McClain and Ryan Rapata gave speeches as part of the tribute. Each got to know Renauldo as members of the Division III hockey team.

Rapata highlighted the effect that Max had on the hockey team, both in hockey and in life. “The competition we had in practice helped make us better goalies,” Rapata said during the tribute. “After he stopped playing hockey, we kept in touch and got even closer as friends.”

Rapata also referenced the memorial service that was held on campus for Renauldo. “The quote that his brother said at the memorial was my favorite. ‘Max figured out his life in 22 years, and most people don’t in 80 years,’” Rapata said.

McClain also highlighted the model Renauldo was. “There are so many qualities that Max had that I will always look to for inspiration,” McClain said during his speech. “He will forever be missed.”

Division I head coach Mike Petrusma appreciated the tribute, as well as the response of the hockey program to the memorial service. “We are a Calvin hockey family. To lose a member, it’s tragic. But to see the support at the memorial service [the entire hockey program attended], it’s great. It also displays the Christian faith that our players have,” Petrusma said. 

Petrusma also mentioned how Renauldo’s presence made Calvin hockey a better program. “One of the things he always said was ‘I like to help,’” Petrusma said. “He was always around, and we loved having him around, helping.”

Although dealing with this loss is difficult for the hockey program, both teams are motivated to be successful this season. “We have dedicated this season to Max and his memory,” said Sam Boelema, a sophomore on the Division III team. Justin Davis, a freshman on the Division I team, agreed. “We are going to play with Max on our minds and push on as far as we can for him,” Davis said.

Both teams will try to honor Renauldo with a successful season. “Hockey is a brotherhood,” Davis said. “You’re in it forever. When we heard the tribute, we felt honored to wear [Max’s] initials on our helmets.”