Senior goalie for the Ice Knights, Matthew Leon, skated into the Geneseo ice rink all the way from Charlotte, North Carolina. Although Leon is attending a school that is filled mainly with New Yorkers, Leon shakes things up with his southern hospitality.
But fear not, Leon does have some New York blood in him, as his father grew up here. It was through his father that Leon came to love hockey.
“My dad loved the sport, so he would have it on and I would just watch it and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of,” Leon said.
And luckily for all the hockey fans here, he did. Leon isn’t a stranger to harsh northeastern winters, though, seeing as he finished up high school in Massachusetts.
Besides being a star goalie here at Geneseo, Leon keeps himself busy as a psychology and communication double major with a geography minor. Leon decided to become a Geneseo Ice Knight, like many students, because the academic curriculum was known to be A+ and the price was just right. But along with that, this particular SUNY school offered one of the better Division III experiences.
Leon is glad that this is where he ended up because the team atmosphere is something that is hard to come by.
“It’s given me a sense of family … a lot of colleges don’t have teams that are this close and I know that the relationships I’ve built here are going to last a lifetime and that means a lot to me,” Leon said.
It’s with his team that Leon shares one of his favorite memories. It comes to no surprise that that memory is winning SUNYACs in 2016. Who can blame him? Just the amount of work and dedication it takes to get there—and then winning it for himself, his teammates and his school—is something to be proud of.
Along with that, Leon fondly looks back on when he went to the Frozen Four in both his freshman and junior years.
When Leon isn’t on the ice or studying for either one of his two majors or his minor, he is either doing work around town to make a quick dollar or working on his blog. His dedication to his communication and psychology majors extends past the classroom in the form of a sports psychology blog for performing hockey.
Sports psychology is something that interests Leon so much that he wants to pursue it when he graduates. After playing hockey for a few more years, Leon wants to get into either coaching or sports psychology for a career—but with coaching, he’s not just focused on the physical training; he’s also interested in the mental and psychological aspects of the sport.
In three words, Leon is relaxed, hard-working and dedicated. This shows through his accomplishments as an athlete and a student, complete with an unshakably calm demeanor.
Not everyone can keep it cool with two majors, a minor and a position on a varsity team here at Geneseo, but somehow Leon has done it—and he has a lot to be proud of.