Click print to enlargeSunday Feb 12, 2012
Assistant Sports Editor
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — Crae Messer unequivocally likes to stop shots.
“I don’t unequivocally know given we adore it so much,” Messer said. “A lot of a guys on a group get a good feeling scoring a good goal, yet for me it is creation a crazy, last-minute save. That’s what does it for me.”
As a starting goalkeeper for a Mount Anthony Union High School boys soccer group a past dual years, Messer, a senior, could prove that longing comparatively easily. A brief transport from a locker bedrooms to a pitch, tab on a heavily padded goalie gloves and it’s diversion on.
Come winter, though, a lengths Messer takes to stop shots are totalled in hours and miles, not mins and yards, when he suits adult for a Troy-Albany Junior Engineers.
Practice? An hour divided in Troy, N.Y., twice a week. Home games? Where ice is accessible in a collateral segment — on Feb. 4, it was here during a Albany County Hockey Facility. Road games? They need genuine highway trips of, generally, 3 hours or more.
By now, a slight is well-worn for Messer, one of a handful of MAU students who have refused to give adult on a diversion they can’t play in their home town.
Hockey means too much.
“Over a years I’ve dealt with removing a lot of crap for personification hockey, actually,” Messer said. “[Classmates think] we should be usually another football jock or basketball jock,
but it unequivocally usually comes down to a fact that we adore a diversion and I’m peaceful to understanding with a crap that I’m going to get for it.”
NO RINK HERE
With a total 13 state championships in boys and girls basketball, 15 in Nordic skiing, and a whopping 25 Vermont wrestling titles, Mount Anthony has gifted substantial success during a winter sports season.
But hockey has not been a partial of that winning tradition. And yet a trickery in Bennington — a closest rinks are in Manchester and Williamstown, Mass. — those championship banners are not expected any time shortly during Mount Anthony, a largest high propagandize in a state yet a hockey team.
“It’s bizarre that we don’t have one,” pronounced MAU girl Jon Polen, who plays for a CP Dynamo in Clifton Park, N.Y.
Opportunities exist for hockey players from Bennington, yet they engage varying degrees of stretch and financial commitment.
If a propagandize does not offer a sport, a Vermont Principals’ Association allows students to contest during another member propagandize that does. That member-to-member agreement hinges on a guest actor not displacing another actor during a horde propagandize — and even then, schools can decline, according to a VPA.
For MAU hockey players, of that activities executive Tim Brown estimated this year there are about five, a closest propagandize with a group is Burr and Burton Academy.
However, BBA has not participated in member-to-member agreements in any competition given of vacillating numbers and a school’s enterprise to maximize personification chances for a students, according to jaunty executive Kathi Bierwirth.
And that logic is not singular to Burr and Burton. Last year, a Fair Haven student, Timi Carone, had to transport to Northfield to contest in girls hockey given there was no propagandize closer that would accept her by a member-to-member agreement, according to a Burlington Free Press’ high propagandize sports blog.
After BBA, a subsequent closest options for hockey players from a Bennington area are Brattleboro or Rutland, any roughly an hour away, or transport teams formed in a Albany area.
Once players strech a certain caliber, though, a latter becomes a many appealing entrance with some-more than double a games of a normal high propagandize schedule.
A BROADER EXPERIENCE
Messer, who has played hockey given he was 4 years old, has grown adult bettering to a fact that his city didn’t have a hockey program. It’s supposing perspective.
“Looking behind on my youth, I’m kind of blissful that they don’t,” Messer said. “In all my years of personification in Manchester, in Williamstown, in Pittsfield, [in Albany], I’ve schooled so many things that if Mount Anthony did have a group substantially wouldn’t have happened.”
Shortly after a new 3-3 pull with a Watertown (Conn.) Redwings in a Northeast Midget Hockey League game, that viewpoint was overshadowed by disappointment during an uncharacteristic puck-handling gaffe that led to a idea for a antithesis 12 seconds into a game.
“I don’t unequivocally have anything to explain given it happened, it was usually kind of a portion on my part,” Messer said. “It was not a approach we wanted to start a diversion during all.”
It was a usually total Messer, who sports a league-best 0.98 goals opposite average, authorised in his half of a game.
And a Junior Engineers rallied to hang on to a draw, preserving their dominant joining record of 19-0-2. As a team, they all raise adult a miles usually to compete.
“This joining is geared some-more toward kids who don’t have a high propagandize hockey team,” manager Ron Morello said. “They know a commitment, if we wish to play during this turn or any level, you’re going to have to be peaceful to travel.”
Most of a Junior Engineers accost from within a half-hour of a Albany area, yet one, David Senecal, matches Messer usually about mile for mile.
Senecal attends Drury High School in North Adams, Mass., and also has tighten to an hour invert to practice. In his view, it’s a improved choice than personification for a commune high propagandize group formed in Pittsfield.
“It’s 40 mins divided and they use during 5 in a morning, before school, so it’s not too fun to get adult for that and it’s not even during as high a turn as this,” Senecal said. “It’s not as good as what we play over here.”
Yet “over here” takes a toll, too.
“My mom bought her automobile with 30,000 [miles on it] and now it’s adult to 230,000,” Senecal said. “That’s all hockey, 4 or 5 years usually hockey. My sister played over in Troy too.”
PATH TO COLLEGE
Polen, too, has changed on from a days when he longed for a group sporting a Mount Anthony colors.
“I remember we used to kind of wish they had had a team,” pronounced Polen, a defenseman, who like Messer has to transport 3 hours or some-more for highway games. “But now personification with a Dynamo, we don’t consider so. [With a Dynamo] a turn of play is a lot higher.”
The Dynamo are a turn next a prestigious Junior hockey ranks, a proof belligerent for intensity college-level talent. A roughly 60-game deteriorate with a Dynamo costs about $3,000, Polen said, an even larger joining than a $1,600 a Messers contend it costs to be a partial of a Troy team.
Junior hockey runs a aloft cost tab than both combined, yet it’s Polen’s ultimate goal. College hockey would be a fulfilment of many years of sacrifice.
“There’s a lot of things we can’t do. We had a diversion a night of a Homecoming dance,” Polen said. “It was tough, yet we done it behind with like half an hour left.”