By Mike Stackhouse
Debbie and Jim Prescesky have been regulars at Battlefords North Stars games since 1984.
In what is no small undertaking, the couple opened their home for 28 years in the form of billeting. “Our first player that we ever had was Dwayne Bone. His dad was the vet in Spiritwood and Dwayne was like our own son. He fit right in with our family. Our own boy was three when Dwayne first came to live with us and he was like a big brother. It was really a mentor type of relationship,” says Debbie. “He spent three years in our home and he’d go to our son’s practices, tie his skates, do that kind of stuff. He was very good. He lives in Edmonton now and we still keep in touch.”
“It’s hard to remember everyone’s name because some only stay for a few months. We had a player from Norway live us for a little while. We also had a player from Ukraine and I thought he’d eat perogies and cabbage rolls. It turns out that was his least favorite food. Jesse Mazur stayed with us for 2 ½ years before moving to Flin Flon. Jason Walker, Scott Cey, Shayne Morrissey, and Jesse Matlock (who lived at the Prescesky home for all four of his years in North Battleford). It’s hard to see some of them go. You try not to get too attached,” said Debbie.
Today, Debbie acts as the Treasurer on what is, arguably, the best Board of Directors in the SJHL if you look at how successful on and off the ice the North Stars have been for the last 25+ years. “I watch the money,” says Debbie. “I look after the bills and make sure everyone gets paid. We have an accountant, but we work with him. The most challenging part is having enough to pay for everything,” she jokes. “People don’t realize how much it costs to run a team. They figure money grows on trees and it doesn’t. It’s rewarding to make everything balance and it feels like I’m more involved with the team.” Debbie agrees that if the Board doesn’t function, it’s noticeable on the ice.
Debbie and her husband Jim, who seldom have missed more than two games a year for the last 30-years have also helped the North Stars through selling 50/50 tickets, programs, or just helping out wherever needed. Jim is the senior goal judge and schedules a crew of people to be assigned in off-ice capacities (timekeepers, penalty box workers, goal judges, etc.).
During the day, Jim can be found at NAPA Auto Parts, where he has been the franchise owner for 36 years. Debbie retired from the health care industry last year, but stays busy babysitting for her son. Yet, both continue to find plenty of time for the North Stars.
“We really enjoy working with people and being out in the community. There are so many nice people who have worked with the hockey club over the years and working with them allows you to meet even more nice people.”