Abington High School senior Brian Cashman and the 2017-18 Abington High School Hockey team have been named the 2018 recipient of The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) / Team Surge Best Buddy Award. The award is presented annually to recognize and celebrate recipients who have demonstrated compassion, leadership and mentoring skills, while making a difference in the lives of others. In addition to the team receiving the award Brian Cashman will be recognized for his individual efforts to make a difference in the life of a child with a disability.

This year senior captain Brian Cashman worked with coaches, teammates, school administration and special education teachers to enlist a student with developmental disabilities to be a member of the hockey team. Despite this student’s disability, he has a unique ability when it comes to sports, statistics, and information. Brian Cashman worked with teachers, his coach and the athletic director to involve this student as the teams’ manager. Throughout the season Brian Cashman, Coach Brian Smith and the entire 2017-18 boys’ hockey team embraced the student manager. As manager he worked to keep stats, attended games, practices and team pasta parties, just the same as all the other members of the team.

The parents of the team manager noted, “Brian has watched over (our son), presented him with a team jersey, invited him to practices, games, and team pasta parties. He has gone out of his way to do more for our son then anyone could have asked. Brian is a role model; his maturity level is well beyond his age level, and he has impacted (our son) more than you could understand. It has been a life changing experience, unless you have a disabled child, you truly cannot appreciate what I mean when I say a life changing experience. He is happy, he is showing signs of confidence in his abilities and in himself, he truly feels included.”

Throughout the season the team continued to embrace the student as one of their own and included him in all of the team events throughout the season and into the tournament. The team “demonstrated a level of compassion and friendship that I don’t think are typical of young teenagers. The team, the coaches, and his teachers are to be commended for making such a positive impact on one disabled boys life.”

Abington High School Athletic Director Peter Serino noted, “Brian Cashman, his teammates and coaches embodied the spirit of the Abington High School community with how they sought out an opportunity in include a peer with developmental disabilities. Our student athletes take great pride in working with students in the Green Wave Café during the school day and have worked diligently to include them in our athletic program. We are very proud of how our student athletes as a whole embrace inclusion of all students, what Brian and his teammates did is a testament to the culture in our athletic program.”

Head Coach Brian Smith noted, “He fit right in with us the second he showed up, the team had him in the locker room and anytime they were just getting together outside of the rink. We really needed someone to handle some stats for us like shots on goal and face off wins/losses and he was a perfect fit. It was so helpful for us to be able to just ask him for totals in-between periods and we could make needed adjustments quickly.”

The team will receive their award as part of the Team Surge Hockey Tournament on April 14, 2018 at Bavis Arena. The tournament begins at 12"00 PM and all proceeds from the event will benefit the Best Buddies Organization. For more information on the event or to make a donation contact Lia Jenner at The presentation of the award will take please at approximately 1:15 PM.