By Warren Kozireski–
“He carries the puck, he makes plays; Charlie has been a great addition,” Fredonia head coach Jeff Meredith summarized. “He’s a great kid with quiet leadership qualities, so we’ve been noting but happy. We’re very pleased with him and he’s getting better every day and making us better every day.”
Manley transferred this year from Rensselaer closer to his Orchard Park home to play in Fredonia and has helped solidify the Blue Devils blueline with four goals and 12 points over the first 17 games. This comes after registering three points in 45 Division I contests.
“I like it; I like what coach Meredith is all about,” Manley said. “It’s a hard-working team and I like stepping into that atmosphere. We’re all about one goal and I think we’re doing pretty well this year so far.
“He likes to put me out there in key situations and I feed off of that.”
After his freshman season with the Engineers at RPI, Manley went through a coaching change and decided he would move on. That decision was helped by Orchard Park friend and Blue Devils junior Tyler Riter.
“I knew Tyler was here and he said it was a good program and I talked to coach Meredith and all the stuff he was saying I agreed with, so I decided to come.”
Fredonia has more than benefitted from his decision going from one game under .500 before getting hot in the postseason and advancing to the SUNYAC finals to 5-3-2 in conference play with six regular season games remaining.
Three of Manley’s four goals have come on Fredonia’s first in the conference power play and he stood among the top-ten in SUNYAC among defensemen in scoring.
After his time with Orchard Park High School (2010-12) and South Kent Prep (2012-14), the now 22-year old jumped from Waterloo of the USHL to Austin in the NAHL to the Estevan Bruins in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League where he named the league’s Defenseman of the Year in 2015-16.
“I was previously committed to RPI, so they told me to go out to the SJ because it’s a rough, physical league so they sent me out there to play and it was the best years of my junior career.”
Athletics runs in the Manley family tree as Charlie’s cousin, Rich, played three years at Geneseo from 2010-13, another cousin, Catherina Williams, played soccer at Colgate and his sister Meg was captain of the track team at the University of Buffalo.
“My sister (now) runs professionally for Hoka in New York City and Rich Manley so following in the footsteps.”
But who is the better athlete in the family?
“Me, 100 percent. I can’t give her (his sister) any credit.”