By Brianna Gleghorn
The Youngstown State University hockey team has taken the season off this semester to step back and reevaluate the team.
Joshua Hessler, president of the YSU hockey team, oversees the operations of the team and works with other officers to make everything run smoothly.
“The purpose for taking this season off is to rebuild our team from the inside out,” Hessler said. “It starts with building recognition throughout the community by having volunteer hours and fundraising.”
Ricky Benge, the team’s safety officer, said hockey is different than other sports.
“[Hockey] is different because players have the additional issue of skating and it’s a skill that’s needed to play,” he said.
Benge has a series of tasks such as calculating dues, running the bank account, dealing with other teams, setting up games and practice times, setting up fundraisers, running the score clock and running the Twitter account for the team.
“We are extremely grateful for the funding we do receive,” he said. “It’s just a very expensive sport.”
“All of the players have to pay a large sum of money to play for the team, so fundraising is critical for the team’s survival,” Hessler said. “Our last piece of the puzzle is to get more players into the organization. More players means more cash flow in the organization as well as more talent, leading us to success.”
Chase Hovel, a sophomore computer science major and a member of the team since last fall, is originally from Minnesota and discussed how the hockey team has been a family to him.
“I play hockey because there are no sports like it. It’s a truly one of a kind sport,” Hovel said. It’s something complete strangers can either fight or bond over. Some of my closest friends have come from playing hockey. Without the YSU hockey program I would have been a bit lost. But they gave me a family in an area where I knew nobody.”
The team is a member of Division II of the American Collegiate Hockey Association, and holds their home games at the Deep Freeze Ice Arena in Boardman, Ohio. The arena has one of the only Olympic-size rinks in the area. They are currently looking for new coaches.
The hockey team will have a fundraiser on Oct. 21 at the Chipotle located on Boardman Poland Road. Anyone who attends between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. can tell the cashier they wish to support the cause and have part of the proceeds donated to the team.
The YSU hockey team is looking to work more with the community and student organizations. Anyone who is interested in being a player or an off-ice member of the team can contact them at [email protected] They said they are always looking for help and new talent.