It was a busy week here in Griffville as the team settled into the typical September routine of classes, skates and workouts. Our week started off with the annual Welcome Back Athletic Mass for all the student-athletes. The boys got out of their usual school week attire of sweatpants and hoodies and into their best suits and then headed over to the chapel for a night of worship. Each team took their turn standing and receiving a blessing for a safe and successful season.
After the mass, the student-athletes gathered at Montante Cultural Center to listen to a variety of speakers informing us of the different resources available to student-athletes. The night also consisted of the annual "scared straight" speech from the Director of Public Safety, Gary Everett. After we listened to the speakers - and Eric Rex spent 20 minutes in the bathroom doing his hair - we went upstairs to say cheese for our website headshots. Needless to say, the hockey team once again took home the title of best-looking male team.
The second week of classes brought most of us excellent student-athletes back to the reality of homework and term projects. The first week of class gives a certain false hope to students as classes are usually cut short and no homework is assigned, but now we are back in the grind of long nights in the library and in Ben Parker's case, the tutoring center.
Being in the classroom is something very unfamiliar for most of our new freshmen players. Most have taken up to three years off of the classroom setting to play junior hockey. Getting back into the mindset of doing schoolwork after such a long time is not an easy task. In order to help our new guys out, the school requires all freshman athletes to complete six hours of study hall hours per week. This gives a chance for the student-athletes to get into a routine of setting aside time for schoolwork at night as we all have very busy schedules. As much as the boys want to spend their time cruising around on the internet checking out the latest news on certain social networking sites, the room is very closely monitored to make sure everyone is being productive.
Aside from our busy class schedule during the week, the team also took to the ice for the first week of skill sessions. The team split up into groups of four and took their turns going on the ice with the coaches for 20-minute skates. The layouts of the skill sessions differ by position. Goalies spent their time working with the new assistant coach, John Daigneau, while forwards and defensemen spent their sessions working on stick handling, skating and shooting drills. The reason for the 20-minute sessions is to comply with one of the many NCAA regulations which limit the amount of time teams can be on the ice before a certain date.
The team ended the week by attending the athletes-for-athletes women's soccer game where the Griffs pulled off a huge overtime victory over Wright State under the lights. It was great to see a Canisius team rack up another victory and even greater to see the amount of support the other student-athletes and community provided. We are excited for this type of spirit to transfer over into hockey season as it quickly approaches.
See you at the rink,
Scott Jenks, #3