BY RANDY SCHULTZ –
When a person takes a look at a printed out version of the CASH (Clarence, Amherst, Sweet Home High Schools) girls varsity ice hockey team’s roster, the first thing they notice is that there is only one senior on the team and no juniors.
This appears to be a very young team. But as CASH coach, Nicola Adimey explains, there is more to this team than meets the eye.
“I think in general we have a lot of returning players plus we have two new players,” said Adimey. “I know everybody says that we have a really young team.
“We have one senior (Sara Ablove, Clarence), no juniors but a good group of sophomores and freshmen players. Add to that one seventh and one eighth grader.
“We have a core group that are made up of travel players that play on really good travel teams. They are the players we will look to carry our team this year, even if they are ninth and tenth graders.”
There is one seventh grader, Sidney Litwiller (Clarence Middle School) and one eighth grader, Mya DeSantis (Clarence Middle School). Adimey cited DeSantis as an example of what the general hockey observer sees on the ice when a game is going on.
“Mya looks amazing out on the ice,” remarked Adimey. “She plays well against players who are seniors and four or five years older than her.
“But people watching the game don’t realize the difference in age between these players. They see the little battles on the ice. Players like Mya win some and they lose some. But they continue the battle from the beginning to the end of a game.”
Adimey also pointed out the players that lead on and off the ice.
“On defense Jenny (Wild, 10th grade, Clarence) is an amazing player,” commented Adimey. “Kiley (Breeze, 10th grade, Clarence) is a very positive person and has great energy back on defense.
“They are both the kind of players that make great comments between periods and help the game refocus.
“We have great players up front at forward positions as well including Polina (Stremiakova, ninth grade, Clarence), Tessa (Kwiatowski, ninth grade, Clarence), Ella (VanDuuren, ninth grade, Clarence) and Mya. They have a lot of playing experience with the travel teams that they are on.
“And with a team that is small in number, those forwards and defense are out there every other shift.”
When it comes to goaltending, CASH looks to one player: Ella Celej (10th grade, Clarence).
“Ella has a great attitude, works hard in practice and in a game,” said Adimey. “We’ve had a goaltending instructor come out and work with her, as well as with the rest of the team that plays around her.”
Despite having a young team, Adimey knows she has a hard-working team.
“Our team will give it everything they have, no matter if we’re leading in a game or if we are trailing,” concluded the CASH coach. “They will be giving it their all from the opening faceoff to the final buzzer.”
(Photos by Janet Schultz Photography/NY Hockey OnLine)