Opening the 2016-17 Season With a Recap of Last Season and Player Awards

As the Virtua Wings of Steel open their 2016-2017 season here is the recap of the celebration to close the end of the 2015-2016 season which was held on Sunday June 12.

Coach Paul Valentine opened with acknowledging the people that get and keep the Wings on the ice – Tom and Lynn Brake for bringing the sport to our area, Lori and Bill Kile who also manage the national Women’s Sled Hockey team. Thanks to the Coach Valentine’s coaches: Mike Sullivan, Ernie Jewel and our equipment Manager, Dennis Senk along with Bob Urganst. Thanks to Art Redd for providing the web services and Mike Costantino for ‘persistently” suggesting the team raise money by having an annual Golf outing, which every year seems to surpass the previous year. This outing has brought so many people together. Parents, team members and their families are what makes this a successful event.

The team will start the season in September with a weekend of team tournaments in Baltimore. It will be a good time to start the season. Coach Valentine also stressed the importance of skill building during “off-ice” time, challenging team members to work on things adaptive Rolling and to look things up on You tube. Here a few examples:

Off Ice Sled Hockey Training - YouTube

Coach Tom Brake thanked everyone for their support and stressed that this is “all about the Kids.”

The Awards:

Most Improved:

Josiah ‘YoBro’ Ishmael, he will try any spot. His biggest strength is his willingness to get on the ice first to get some extra minutes to work on his shot and stay to the end to continue to improve. His determination has paid off in learning to lift the puck and now shoots the puck to any part of the net.

Paul ‘Freight Train” Tursi displays immense tenacity in continuing to grow as a player. This year he has become a shutdown defenseman. His focus and determination is second to none.

Jessica Shaw Award, presented by Brian Shaw:

Buzz Costa, although he hated playing Goalie, he is like Jessica in that he demonstrates his spirit and love for the game and what you can give of yourself to the team.

Michael Senk Award, presented by Dennis and Diane Senk:

William Chernets, for being Vocal and making a lot of noise to get the team riled up.

Presenting team trophies:

Jason ‘Tenacious Jay’ Cedeno, just call him TJ – A Rookie with a lot of promise, shows not fear against bigger opponents, he gets that nickname ‘Tenacious’ form his style of play: he’ll skate in any situation and is always on the move.

Steve ‘Cowlick’ Belcher

JoJo Costa, has the best “hands” on the team. She continues to play even while in her first year of college. She’s our “Red Light” player, meaning she comes of big in big moments. JoJo has scored in the Nationals for almost 5 straight years.

Anthony ‘the Plow” Ambrose, is a promising developing player who can “move the pile” with his physical size. He has shown a big uptick in his speed and will hopefully fins his way on to our defense.

Lucas “Razor” Harrup would be perfectly outfitted with a Go-Pro camera attached to him. He is a developing player who plays loud and with a lot of enthusiasm. Lucas is currently working towards working on playing with his push bar.

Kai ‘Fire’Dahari, in the coach’s eyes, more than scoring a game winning goa, or a hat trick is watching a player who takes small steps in developing, and then all of a sudden you see all his hard work has paid off. Kai recently had his push bar removed for practice adding a new level towards his development. Kai once told his coach during a game he is a caged lion and you can’t keep a caged lion on the bench.

Yosef Ismael, a developing player who becoming hard to define. Josef is a diverse performer and does well in every position he’s asked to attempt.

Yazid Ismael, has fun on the ice. His development has paid off in working hard on picking himself up, which prompted Dennis Senk to approve of moving his blades in. Yazid is not afraid of taking on opponents who are much bigger than him.

Jesse ‘the Jet’ Beck is a true “coaches” player. He can be plugged in anywhere on the ice and performs well with tremendous effort. This pst season has seen him fight back from some medical issues to get back on the ice to help in the Wings’ success.

Nathan “Buzz” Costa can play any positon. Buzz has battled through some medical issues this season but continues to show his hockey smarts. Although he is a reluctant goaltender, he continues to give the team the best chance to win every game he’s between the pipes.

Paul ‘Freight Train” Tursi – In Football “moving the pile” means the offensive lineman push the entire defensive line back. Paul performs this task for the Wings, except he pushes opponents out of the slot area, and keeps it clean, and Heaven help you if he catches you against the boards.

William ‘Nets’ Chernets – Nets is a player that is so versatile Coach has no problem in putting him on the ice in any game situation. His speed and mobility continue to develop and he has great hockey smarts and is always in position to make plays.

Garret ‘G-Man’ Goebel – G-Man has battled through injuries and setbacks that would probably make a Pro player retire. He is one of fastest players who continues to stretch the ice when he’s patrolling the neutral zone. It was most memorable moment when he scored a breakaway on his birthday. Garret has begun to mentor the younger players.

Robert ‘the Beast’ Vettese – Another “Coaches” player, there are no words that can do justice to the huge role Robert plays for this team. The best way to paly Robert is to plug him in anywhere on the ice, and let him go. He is a player that the younger players look up to and want to emulate.

Mike ‘BuddhaMan’ Mauger, Captain emeritus – Mike has come a long way in sled hockey. When he first started, like most young players, he looked lost on the ice. Though hard work and determination and uncommon grit, Mike has led our team for the last 2 years as Captain and leader on Defense. He is a another player the younger team members aspire to be.

Our new captains for the 2016-2017 season:
Robert Vettese –Captain
Paul Tursi –Assistant Captain
Mike ‘BuddhaMan’ Mauger – Assistant Captain
Nathaniel ‘Buzz’ Costa – Assistant Captain