Scott McKee has become a familiar name, face and voice associated with the Fernie Ghostriders, but his most popular contribution is his artwork. While McKee is often heard as the announcer and even billets two of the team’s players, his jersey creations are his trademark.
McKee has been attending Ghostrider games since the early 2000s. A few years after watching his first game, he started working at Giv’er Shirt Works, a Fernie based company that does screen printing, embroidery and custom designs of soft good items like sweaters, toques, shirts and jerseys.
“In 2000 I went to a couple of games here and there. From 2004 on I was a little more involved,” said McKee. “It was the thing to do, you hang out with your friends and go to the game, have some beers and it was exciting. It became a regular Friday and Saturday night tradition. I think I’ve sat at the same blue line seat since 2008 when I am not doing the announcing.”
The transition between fan and volunteer started when he met head coach and general manager Craig Mohr for the first time about 10 years ago and the team needed some work done to their jerseys.
“Meeting Coach [Mohr] when he was first here first introduced me to the Ghostriders. At one point they needed name bars stitched on and made, that’s when I started to get into this kind of stuff so I said I would help them out,” said McKee. “It was the next coach, Will [Verner], who really got me into the team.”
Since then, McKee has become the jersey guru, creating two of the Ghostriders most popular game jerseys; the third generation red jersey, and the new fourth generation grey jersey.
“I am pretty sure my first jersey, the red one was brought into rotation in 2008. I had the mock up made for that done three or four years before its release,” said McKee. “I did this [grey] jersey about three years ago, it was supposed to come out for next season.”
McKee has also revamped the original 1991 Ghostrider logo for the clubs 20-year anniversary.
“I did revamp the original logo for the 20th anniversary jerseys, I took some detail out to break up the solid colour and make it easier to embroider onto the jerseys. I set it up for embroidery.”
McKee is also responsible for the annual breast cancer awareness jerseys, which are auctioned off in October. The funds raised by the auction are donated to a cause, and this year’s recipient was Fernie Friends for Friends.
“This year’s cancer jersey with the inlay of skull and axes are all hidden. It has the logo and the cancer ribbon in there behind the crest,” said McKee. “One thing with the cancer jerseys is they come out every year. You can get creative with them.”
In addition to his jersey-crafting abilities, McKee also helps the team by being a billet parent to Evan “Reeder” Reid and Kyle “Huggy” Haugo. The McKee household has been billeting players for a handful of years.
“Last year we only had Evan, the year before we had our daughter and we took a year and a half off. We have probably been doing it for five years give or take,” said McKee. “It’s good, it gets you more involved. You provide them with meals, my wife Christy does an awesome job cooking and the boys get their dinners and they fend for themselves in the daytime.”
While he is supporting the team, McKee feels like he has a couple of kids on the team.
“When you go to the games you want to cheer for the team but you basically have a teenage son playing, so after the game you talk to them about it,” said McKee. “You are their billet parent. It’s adopting a kid for six months.”
Despite the busy schedule, Scott, Christy and their daughter Lola McKee still make family time that includes the boys.
“Some guys go to school, some guys have jobs and some don’t do either but we still try to incorporate family time,” said McKee. “We all sit down for dinner when we can but we really like to have breakfasts together. Sunday morning, it’s usually brunch, we have a big breakfast and get everyone around the table.”
His daughter Lola is a big fan of the team and the boys. The family gets to know the team outside of the arena as well.
“Our daughter Lola is three and she loves going to hockey. The boys are great with her, they play mini sticks downstairs and she loves it. She is pretty hilarious with the boys, and they are really good with her,” said McKee. “A lot of the players are really polite when they leave they thank us for having them over and it’s good to see them outside of the rink.”
McKee’s passion for the sport is apparent through his actions. He was raised with the sport and competed for most of his youth. He played until he was 19, when he moved to Fernie and started snowboarding.
Despite the switch in sports, McKee has found a way to support the local hockey team, making his impact visible right on the backs of the players.