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Face-Off With Spracks #6

Hockey senior forward Chris Spracklen will once again provide an insiders' look at the Army hockey program. A center from Kennewick, Wash., Spracklen will share his insights, introduce teammates, provide a glimpse into life on the road and much more for the second consecutive season, continuing the long tradition of Army hockey diaries. Click here to read Spracklen's biography.

February 18, 2011

Welcome back Army fans.  Sorry for the delay between entries, but since I have been getting so many nasty-grams regarding my tardiness I decided it was about time I did another one.

In my recent hiatus I was getting a lot of questions at the rink, on road trips, from die-hard blog fans and e-mail with all sorts of questions.  I tried my best to pick the most entertaining questions and answer them in the most truthful fashion.  Here are a few of the most popular questions:

People ask me all the time, do people ever get mad at you for the jabs you take at your teammates?
Yes, actually the guys get pretty sensitive about some of the things I say, but that's the beauty of writing the blogs ... I always get the last word!  There is one of the moms that I promised an apology to for the things I said about her son.  So I am sorry that I give your son such a hard time for his physical condition when he comes back from summer and winter break ... maybe we can set up a program for you to monitor his caloric intake.

I notice that the players tape their sticks a lot, is there a proper way to do this?
Every player has their own style.  Some players like to tape the top of their sticks with big "knobs" and some with very little.  Some put extra padding with grip tape or they twist the tape and wrap it around.  It's all personal preference.  As for the blade of the stick, most guys use black tape to hide the puck, but the "hot shots" like to use white tape because they claim their hands are so fast they don't need to hide the puck.  Typically you tape your stick heel-to-toe, but every player has a different style for the amount and application of the tape.

You seem to have an incredible fashion sense with your suit and tie combos.  What is your secret?
This is an excellent observation!  I like to switch it up, but currently my favorite is my gray suit with a light blue undershirt.  Light blue goes with anything really.  I like to switch it up to keep people guessing though so I make sure to have a variety of undershirts, ties, and pocket squares.  The black suit is an absolute lady killer, and I like the presidential look with a white undershirt and red tie ... it just works.  I bust out my white suit for special events, like weddings.  Yes, that happened...

Ryan Leets hasn't been practicing much lately- Is he injured?
Actually Leetsy recently won the AAA Athlete of the Week so he says he doesn't need to practice anymore.  Since I haven't won this award, I couldn't really say much, I just let him gloat for the week.  He says he has a groin injury, but I know better.

What is your record in the Orange/Lemon game? Have you ever had the lemon?
The Orange/ Lemon game is a shootout played at the end of practice (typically on Thursday) before each weekend series.  I have been on a bad streak lately and recently encountered the inevitable in my four years playing the game, and got the lemon.  However, due to a technicality I was awarded a 1 on 1 "showdown" with Starzy and dodged a bullet, passing that hideous yellow helmet off to him.  Close call to say the least, but I still hold a solid record so I don't feel that bad, it happens to the best of us.

Is Bill Day trying to take over the reins from Chase Podsiad as the best prankster?
I think he is.  Bill is a very good prankster and is perfecting the "shoe checks."  This is one of our routine pranks in which someone sneaks under the table at team meals and squirts one of the table condiments, typically ketchup, onto someone's shoe.  He really gained street cred among the team when he got coach Haberbusch.  We weren't quite sure what the reaction would be since the coaching staff always keeps an eye out for the poor soul that makes an attempt at shoe checking them ... but coach was a good sport about it.  He needs to polish his "salty pockets" prank though because I've seen him get caught a couple times and Podsiad would never let that fly. 

What does the "take it personal Tuesday" refer to?
Tuesday practice is what we call "Battle day."  It is the hardest practice of the week and usually consists of tight space battles with a lot of physical play.  It is always an intense practice and usually tempers get involved which, of course, results in cheap shots, retaliations, and a lot of words not allowed on the blog.  So if you catch my drift here, we have given it the name "Take it personal Tuesday."  Those are the practices I will miss when it's all said and done though.

Is Coach Haberbusch training for the Tour de France?
Often referred to as Lance, coach Haberbusch has chosen the bicycle as his main mode of transportation.  He stores it in the video room now because his bike is not all-terrain and the winter conditions are not suitable for riding.  He says that one day he will compete, but I'm not sure if they allow hand covers on the bikes in the Tour de France, so for now he is disqualified.

Is Tom Doran, Director of Army Hockey Operations, a former sergeant major?
This is a common misconception.  TD will often introduce himself as a sergeant major to mix things up, but he is, in fact, not a sergeant major, and never was.  He was actually never in the military.  However, if you saw the way he runs the locker room, you may guess otherwise.

Is it true that head coach, Brian Riley, has never had a cup of coffee?
Some may ask where he gets all that energy on the bench, but I can assure you it is not from coffee.  He claims he has never had a sip.  He sticks strictly to water. 

Is it true that former Army hockey captain and current grad assistant, Eric Sefchik, passed out while getting his most recent tattoo?
Yes, this is true.  He claims it was due to not eating all day, but that's garbage.  He is getting soft.

Nicknames are a staple in the locker room.  Generally you can add a "y" "z" or "s" to anyone's name and you have an instant nickname, but in the locker-room some guys are just given weird names that seem to stick.  For example, Pierson has been given the nickname "Scooter."  I think it is just because he scoots all over the place, I'm not really sure.  But that is the beauty of nicknames - most of the time people don't even know where they come from, they just seem to stick to guys, and that's what they are known as.  So just in case you were wondering what we call the guys, here is a list of the most common nicknames.   

Marcel Alvarez- Alvy, Arf, Big Guy, Tiger Lily
Joey Ammon- Jammin' Ammon is about as creative as we could getJack Barnes- Barnsey
Jon Bobb- It's actually the most fun to just say Jon Bobb, but sometimes Bobby Boy or Bobb-O
Anthony Cadieux- Cads, Cadillac
Jay Clark- Clarky
John Clark - Little Clark (get it, he's the younger Clark, plus he is hobbit-like), or just Clarky (we risk the confusion between the two)
Danny Colvin- DC, Trout (Hully thought he looked like a fish, and it stuck)
Pat Copeland- Copes
Bill Day- Biwwwy,  B-Day
Mark Dube - Dubes, Dubewitz
Mike Henderson - Hendo
Mike Hull - H of spades, H, Hully,
Cody Ikkala - Brickala, Ikks, Ikky,
Bret Larson - Lars .... not a lot to work with on this one
Dax Lauwers - I like to call him Daximus, but Dax just seems like a nickname in itself.
Ryan Leets - Steel (Self-proclaimed-it's his name backward), Leetzy
Kyle Maggard- Mayguard, Mags
Alex McRae - Mac-er, animal
Cody Omilusik - Omi
Drew Pierson - Scooter, Piers
Cheyne Rocha - Rook-a, Cheyanne, Rokes
Pat Ryan - P-Ry, Ging, Carrot-top ... he's an easy target
Mike Santee - Manatee
Brian Schultz - Rook, Schultzy
Bryant Skarda - Skads, Scared-a, Skards...pretty standard
Chris Spracklen - Spracks, little Spracks
Andy Starczewski - Starzy, Starzewitz, (anything that sounds close to how you should pronounce his name will work)

Thanks for reading my diary.  Hope to see you at the rink this weekend for our game against AIC.


Previous Entries
Friday, Oct. 1
Thursday, Oct. 21
Monday, Dec. 13
Wednesday, Dec. 22

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