Behind the Bench

Every college athlete will eventually experience the mixed emotions that come with Senior Weekend. It is a time to celebrate and reflect on an incredible four-year journey. Ram Sidhu, Mathieu Cyr, Trent Cassan, Steve Sankey and Derek Jokic will play their final two games this weekend. Friday night features the conference finale versus rival Brockport while Saturday's Senior Game matinee (3 p.m. start) features the Lebanon Valley Dutchmen.

The seniors would like to thank the Ice Knight faithful for their unconditional support over the past four years. Whether the fans know it or not, the team does not just play for themselves and each other. The team, especially the seniors, strives to give the fans something to cheer about. After speaking with a senior the other day, we remembered how important the crowd was during the two consecutive championships in 2005 and 2006. Essentially, the crowd is a seventh man on the ice at times. The seniors will definitely miss the game-night atmosphere and the school spirit that is evident at our games.

From a coaching perspective, I will greatly miss the five seniors that will be leaving our program. This group of men won two SUNYAC championships as freshmen and sophomores. They have also demonstrated the unique ability to deal with change. In four years, the seniors have had three coaches. The most difficult year for them has certainly been this year. Winning games and catching breaks has not been easy for us this year. The seniors played a tremendous role in keeping the team positive and ready to work every time our blades hit the ice. The fact that they never once gave up or found blame in others leads me to believe that they will be successful people when they ultimately leave the Geneseo campus. In addition, these student-athletes were not just performers on the ice. All five boast cumulative GPAs over 3.0 in the disciplines of business, biology, accounting and physics.

I would like to give an enthusiastic thank you to another non-traditional member of our team. Nick Johnson, the guy holding the guitar in the Pep Band, is also graduating this year. Many people do not know that Nick served as our equipment manager this year when we were on the road. Nick has been an asset to our program for a few years now. His energy and passion for creating an electric atmosphere is certainly evident when you walk into a hockey game. To Nick and all of the other seniors in the pep band, we thank you for your commitment to excellence. We appreciate everything you do, and we look forward to your spirit this weekend.

The entire Ice Knight community would like to send Ram, Trent, Steve, Derek and Mat off in a great way this weekend. We thank you for your hard work, bleeding blue, and the sacrifice you have shown to make our program better. There is no doubt in my mind that you will leave Geneseo and make a positive impact on your community. Remember to always treat others with respect and, of course, tell others about your experiences at Geneseo.

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