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.
Friday, October 1
Army hockey fans, welcome back to the 2010-11 season. For all the newbies out there, my name is Chris Spracklen and I am a senior forward on the Army hockey team
I'm glad to be back writing the team diaries again this season even though it will be pretty tough to beat my performance last year. Coach Riley did give me the option of penning the diaries again this season. It sounded a little like this: "You're doing the diaries this season, Spracks." Before I agreed, I made sure to lay out my list of demands. I started out small with some new wheels (skates), consistent supply of new lumber (sticks), and a winter jacket. I considered throwing in optional practices for the seniors, but I didn't want to push my luck. I think TD (director of hockey operations) gave me my skates last just to establish dominance though. Funny joke, TD.
It is amazing how fast the time goes by here. It seems like yesterday that I was the clueless 'rook' sitting in the locker room wondering how in the world I would make it through four years at West Point. But the time has flown by and I'm grateful for the awesome teammates I have had the opportunity to play with along the way. Nobody is more excited about senior year than Drew Pierson though. He makes sure to let everyone know that he has unlimited weekend passes now.
The only unfortunate part of this time of the year is that it is no longer beach season, which means less bicep curls in the gym and more leg squats. Preseason has been a real battle as usual with conditioning, but it is worth every second of burning lungs and jell-o legs when we step on the ice for our first game and the start of the season. We start off with the Black and Gold scrimmage this weekend. You can probably place a safe bet on my team (the Gold team) clinching a victory Saturday afternoon. If it is anything like our daily scrimmages, it should be a blowout! After that we will gear up for our first game of the year against Colgate at Cape Cod, October 8.
The last step in our preseason experience is the "Hines Test." It is an all-out physical and mental test in which we run on a treadmill at 10 miles per hour at a 10-degree incline for as long as possible. It is not uncommon for the guys to catch each other as their legs collapse from pure exhaustion. The test is named after one of the Army hockey greats, Derek Hines, who unfortunately lost his life in Afghanistan in 2005. He is the epitome of an Army hockey player and still an inspiration to all of us. This however, is Omilusik's favorite day of the year. He gets to show off his gazelle like running ability and walk around like he is untouchable at the post - Hines Test team barbeque.
Eric Sefchik (Cheeks) is our AI (athletic intern) this year and it's great having him back with the guys. He likes being around too so he can show off his new, shiny belts and shoe collection to all the guys. Cheeks loves online shopping and now that he is a rich Second Lieutenant he can afford to buy whatever he wants.
Thanks for reading my diary! I hope all the fans are ready for a great season and we'll see you at the rink soon!