Sports Union November 2016 - Page 28

28 SportsUnion | NOVEMBER 2016 College Hockey Four Years In the Making Four years ago you were a naïve young man heading to a place you just heard stories about. You heard the horror stories of basic training, how hard the life was going to be for the next four years. By Matt Ondesko Managing Editor You heard the stories from friends who knew someone who knew someone who knew someone that went there. You went in with a clear mind; eyes wide open. You wanted to see for yourself how daunting the task was going to be. You felt you were ready, that you can handle anything that was thrown at you. Plebe year was the hardest you wanted to give up. But giving up isn’t in your vocabulary. You fought through the urge to give up – and it served you well. Each year you were there got better and easier. The success in the classroom and on the battlefield helped you on the ice. Your game improved each season. Freshman year was tough, sophomore years was a little better. Your junior season was the best to date. You knew you had it in you, you just needed to find it. Now it’s time to say goodbye. Four years have passed and you are no longer that scared plebe anymore. You are a seasoned veteran waiting for the next challenge. Four years flew by quick, but you remembered to cherish everything that was given to you, or that you earned. Four years have made you into the man you are today. Now that the first half of the journey is coming to an end you are able to reflect on what it was like to step onto the campus of the United States Military Academy. If walls could talk it would tell you all about the history that has been made at West Point. Four years ago you were walking on campus not knowing your future. Now you are ready to take on the world. “If you would have asked me that (surviving) the start of my freshman year I would have said yes,” stated Army goaltender Parker Gahagen. “Every year that goes by it got a little easier. I guess my answer would gradually turns toward no.” It has been an amazing ride for Gahagen. His story has been told countless times. A Williamsville North High School graduate who went onto have a great couple years with the