Roller Hockey Team Ready to Compete

The Ramapo College men’s Roller Hockey team is excited for the 2013-2014 season, with several new changes the team feels will be in their advantage.

This is the first year that the team will receive funding from the school. Add that to an almost entirely new division for this year, and the Roadrunners have a lot to look forward to.

The team is not recognized as a Ramapo sport like basketball or tennis, but is considered an athletic club, like the men’s lacrosse team.

Ramapo senior and one of the team’s two assistant captains, Pat Masur said that the funding will allow the team to develop.  

“It will really help the club grow,” he said. “In the past we’ve had to tell students how much they have to pay to play and almost all walk away. Now that a lot of those costs are gone, our club can grow.”

The Roller Hockey team received $4,300 from the Student Activities Revenue Office and had money left over from their own fundraising.

Masur said that the money will pay for league fees and two practices a week, which the players previously had to pay for on their own.

Because of the funding, this will be the first year that the team can afford to practice twice a week rather than just once.

Despite the extra money, players still need to pay for hotels and food for their weekend tournaments. However, the team is able to take one of Ramapo’s many student activity vans to cut down on costs.

The team plays in the Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association in Division Three. Most games take place in Pennsylvania, so the vans have become crucial for the team’s travel.  

The divisions for the ECRHA are dynamic, changing every season depending on how well each team performed the previous year. Last season, The Roadrunners shared a division with Lehigh University, Syracuse University, Shippensburg University, Scranton University and Baruch College, posting a 3-8-1 record, defeating Shippensburg once and Lehigh twice and tying Baruch. 

This year the boys hope to lock in some more wins as they compete against their new division rivals Slippery Rock University, Niagara College, Kutztown University, Temple University, and Cornell University. Syracuse and Ramapo are the only teams to remain from last year.  

Ramapo Roller Hockey’s other assistant captain and least year’s leading goal scorer, junior Jeremy Higginson has high hopes for this season.

He said the team will “continue to work hard and focus on the fundamentals,” and that he  “expects nothing less than a Division Three Championship appearance.”

When asked what challenges the team faced this upcoming season, Higginson mentioned the loss of some key players, including last years starting goalie, Matt Bellurado, as he graduated in the spring. Luckily, the Roadrunners have found two new goaltenders that will battle for the staring spot this season.

Higginson said that aside from improving the team’s game all around, he plans to tweak his own game style to help the team. 

He said he plans to “focus on defensive skills, preventing more goals as opposed to scoring them.”

The Roadrunners Roller Hockey team will kick off its preseason on Saturday Oct. 12 in Feasterville PA.