Being a student athlete in college is a commitment that requires an exceptional amount of time management and work ethic. With one year under his belt, sophomore forward Conlan Keenan is starting to get a feel of the responsibilities that come with being an Ice Knight as well as a communication major.
Keenan is from Penfield, N.Y., and attended Webster Schroeder High School. At a young age, Keenan started to develop his love for hockey by watching the sport on television.
He began playing hockey recreationally around the age of four. Two years later, Keenan was able to join an organized hockey team.
Hockey has become a significant part of Keenan’s life, and after playing for so long, he knew that he wanted to compete at the collegiate level.
“Right when I came here, they were just like family,” Keenan said of his hockey teammates at Geneseo. “They prepare for a championship every year, and now that I am a part of it, I am lucky to be here”.
Keenan decided to come to Geneseo after a brief meeting with the coaching staff and players, during which he immediately fell in love with the school and hockey program. When he visited the Geneseo campus, Keenan knew that it was where he wanted to be.
“There was just something contagious about the place,” Keenan said. “It was just the atmosphere you want to be involved in”.
Before becoming an Ice Knight, Keenan played in the United States Premier Hockey League for the New Jersey Hitmen with current teammate sophomore forward David Szmyd. Ironically enough, some of Keenan’s other current teammates were once his former rivals during his junior league hockey career.
Keenan attributes his success on and off the ice mainly to his team, which he has described as very encouraging and supportive. They have taught him many ways to deal with time management, which is necessary when taking a busy course schedule and being a college athlete.
“My class and teammates push me to be a better player and person, day in and day out,” Keenan said. “For my personal success on the ice—it’s not just me, it’s all of them too. They set me up for great plays and great passes. I’m lucky to have them as my classmates and teammates”
Keenan has set large life goals for himself and his team in the future. On the ice, he aims to win a championship and take his hockey career as far as it can go.
After college, Keenan hopes to play professional hockey. He dreams of playing for the Detroit Red Wings, his favorite team to watch growing up.
“This may seem far-fetched, but it is always good to dream big,” Keenan said.
Keenan’s favorite athletic-related memory to date occurred when he played for the Hitmen and his team won the USPHL Championship. Ever since that unforgettable experience, he has always wanted to take his skills to the next level and achieve a championship at the collegiate level.
While Keenan may have big goals on the ice, his goals off the ice are just as impressive. If professional hockey isn’t where he ends up, Keenan hopes to pursue a career in law enforcement. Keenan has taken local, state and federal civil service exams. His interests in law enforcement pertain to agencies such as the Secret Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
When he is not on the ice, he enjoys golfing with his fellow Ice Knights and watching law enforcement based shows, such as Live PD.
During the 2016-17 season, Keenan was named the SUNYAC Rookie of the Year and was voted to the All-SUNYAC Second Team. With just over two years remaining in his Ice Knight career, Keenan has plenty of time to make an even more profound name for himself.u