Lately it seems that the Penn State athletics’ program has been getting much more negative press than positive. However, it is important to note that there is positive change coming this season to Penn State sports.

Two big positives: first, the hire of a new Men’s Football coach; and, second, the introduction of Ice Hockey as an official men’s and women’s Division 1 varsity sport.

Most fans in the Hockey Valley are already aware of the positive impact that club level Penn State ice hockey has had on the community. With its recent jump to varsity status, the sky is the limit!

Hockey is an intriguing sport. It is fast paced and tough. It teaches life lessons to those who play and those who watch that, I believe, can be learned nowhere else than on a solid, cold slab of ice. And it is a sport that can bring a positive spin to a community which finds itself navigating slippery conditions.

What other sport involves mastering a difficult skill before even beginning to play the game? I will never forget my first hockey practice at the age of 8. As I stepped out on the ice I remember wondering, “What was I thinking? Not only, how do I skate forward with all of this equipment, how do I stop?” Taking my first ice skating stride during that practice was like the feeling of
introducing yourself to your classmates in your ninth grade homeroom at the start of your freshman year. Awkward, unsure, unstable. The very ground was moving beneath my feet and yet, with practice and hard work came confidence and eventual success.

Athletes who can teach themselves how to maneuver around the ice on a sharp steel blade – only 1mm wide – also learn a bit about what it takes to maneuver in life’s slipperiest moments. Can our new men’s and women’s Ice Hockey teams help our Penn State athletic community regain its edge? I think so.

I believe that the impact of this new varsity sport can be a positive stride in the Penn State athletic program, I have recently agreed to this weekly blog in an effort to help shine some light on the sport. I encourage you to join me. It is my goal to keep you informed on the many positive strides taking place in Penn State athletics. If hockey is something about which you know nothing; I invite you to join me as you take your first uneasy step into the world of college
ice hockey. Trust me – it is a step you will never regret taking!

Change is coming. And that change is good. Hockey will give us the very edge we need to regain the pride when we proclaim:

We Are…

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