Every once and a while, a child gets to meet their hero. That hero has so much power and can have such an impact on the child, leaving life-long memories that they may cherish forever.
I want to shine some light on a 9-year-old hockey player from right here in St. Louis. She plays for the Lady Cyclones. Her name is Cailyn Tackett, and her position is goaltender. She is a huge fan of Nicole Hensley, but that’s not her hero. Cailyn’s hero is Carter Hutton.
Why? Well, you’re about to find out. I want to thank Cailyn’s father, Derrick Tackett, for sharing their story with me. I had to ask him if we could work together to create an article for Cailyn and Carter. I couldn’t resist, and Derrick was on board.
I’d like to shout out to Ryan and Rebecca Houston of FancaveSports. Without you, Derrick said none of this would have been possible. I’ll be asking Cailyn and Derrick some questions. I hope you enjoy their story.
Ray: “First off, to the both of you, thank you for doing this. My first question is for Cailyn. When was the first time you took notice of Carter Hutton, and what made him special?”
Cailyn: At the Christmas time signing at FanCaveSports, he was reading Night Before Christmas to all the kids after the signing. When we got to the spot, I got to ask him about being a goalie. It was going to be my turn to be a goalie for my (8 and up) team. I was kind of nervous to be a goalie. I had never done it. He told me to just have fun and enjoy it, also to not give up. He made me feel more confident when it was my turn to play goal.
Ray: “Derrick, did you notice any differences in Cailyn’s step after this occurred?”
Derrick: “Not so much her step, but her stride for sure. She just seemed like someone had given her that nudge, that little extra. She has been a hockey nut for a while, but it went into hyperdrive after meeting him.”
Ray: “You have to wonder if Carter knows the level of impact he made, and that’s particularly why I wanted to take on this article. Tell me more. Did you see him again?
Derrick: “Yep, we’ve seen him quite a few times. In younger leagues, they have to rotate goalies. That first time we met him was the day before her first game tending, and he gave her some nice advice and really took a few minutes to talk to her about it and stuff. She was beaming. She went out and stopped 36-39 in her first game and was hooked. The next time we met him, she told him, and he remembered her, and she was sold, he was a god in her eyes. It was cool to see the connection. She made him this PowerPoint presentation that we had printed and bound for him, he laughed and loved it. She was so proud.”
“Carter is why she’s a goalie” – Derrick Tackett
Ray: “I can imagine, as I am a father myself, the level of respect you must have gained for Carter after seeing him make this difference in your daughter’s life. How did all of this make you feel about Hutts?”
Derrick: “I mean I was shocked, to be honest. Just the fact that he took the extra minute or so to talk to her and give her the words of encouragement. Not only was he a great hockey player, but a great human being. Her confidence skyrocketed and I can’t thank him enough.”
Ray: Cailyn, It must have been tough on you to see your hero part ways with the city. How did you take it?
Cailyn: “I was sad, I wanted to see more of him. Wanted more meet and greets with him. I liked seeing him in the Blue Note. It’s good that he’s going to start in Buffalo, he’ll get to play more. He deserves that.”
Ray: “It seems like Carter wasn’t just your hero, but a friend! You wanting what is best for him is special, even though that means there will be fewer chances to see him. Speaking of seeing him, Derrick, are you planning on taking Cailyn to see the Sabres play in St. Louis on December 27th?”
Derrick: “Oh absolutely, we’ll be there. Cailyn may be wearing a Sabres’ Hutton shirt under her Blues jersey haha.”
We all knew Carter Hutton was a great guy.
This is just one example of why he has that reputation.
Ray: “I’ll finish this one off with one for Carter. Here’s a question for the both of you. If you could say one thing to Mr. Hutton, what would it be?”
Cailyn: “Well, I’d say hi, thank you for everything, and we’ll miss you in STL.”
Derrick: “Thanks for everything Hutts. I appreciate the time you took, the Christmas reading, the bowling, everything. You epitomize everything that is great about athletes, and hockey players especially. You inspired Cailyn and gave her confidence, and it means a lot. Good luck in Buffalo, you earned it. We’ll always love you in STL.”
In case you missed it, check out the PowerPoint presentation that Cailyn made for Carter Hutton.
Good luck to Cailyn as a goaltender for the Lady Cyclones.
Thank you to Carter Hutton, for inspiring a child.
We’re all very happy for you, but we’ll miss you around here.
Blues Rants is collecting donations for the St. Louis Lady Cyclones at FB.com/bluesrantscom.