Junior Kings Players Find Success
By Sarah Sotoodeh
Getting into college requires dedication, focus, and determination. It also takes hard work. Every fall, students descend onto school campuses across the country, beginning the next chapter of their lives. Several former and current Jr. Kings players have chosen to continue both their hockey and education. Their journey takes each of them to different schools but with the same goal in mind, to grow as hockey players and as individuals. In addition, one current Jr. King has been chosen to play for the National Team Development Program while another former Jr. King was selected for an esteemed award.
Current Jr. Kings 16 AAA team captain Ryan Siroky and his teammate Garrett Gamez have both committed to play at NCAA Division 1 schools beginning in the 2014 season on full scholarship. Siroky, who will be joining the University of Miami-Ohio Redhawks, is ranked 9th in overall league scoring, after notching 21 goals and 25 assists in 38 games in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League, which the Jr. Kings youth hockey organization’s 16 AAA and 18 AAA team are a part of. The forward will be playing for the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) for the next two years, until the he becomes a Redhawk in 2014.
Gamez, his Jr. King 16 AAA teammate, has committed to play Division 1 college hockey at Denver University. In the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League, Gamez scored 27 goals and had 28 assists in 40 games.
Nolan Stevens was chosen to play for the National Team Development program (NTDP). Stevens, who is the fifth player to make the NTDP after being coached by Jr. Kings 16 AAA head coach Louis Pacella and assistant coach Stephen Cohen, will play with the US hockey NTDP for two years. Although he only played in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League for 24 games due to an injury, he scored 17 goals and had 15 assists. The forward is the son of Kings assistant coach John Stevens.
In addition, former Jr. Kings players Darren Norwick and Tomas Sholl have also committed to Division 1 universities. Vernon Vipers (BCHL) forward Norwick, 20, received a NCAA Division 1 hockey scholarship and is set to start the 2012 season as a University of Northern Michigan Wildcat. The forward, who hails from Long Beach, is in his second year as a Vernon Vipers player. This season, he scored 25 goals and 17 assists in 37 games.
Sholl, a goaltender, has committed to play for Bowling Green State University, beginning in the 2013 season. The Hermosa Beach native played for the Jr. Kings from Mites all the way up to Midget 16 AAA. He currently plays for the Fresno Monsters of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), where he earned a .920 save percentage and had two shutouts in 40 games, during his 2011-12 rookie season.
Former Jr. Kings players Billy Faust, the Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL) goalie and former Jr. Kings player, accepted a full NCAA scholarship to the University of Vermont.
Tyler Maugeri was awarded the Princeton University Hobey Baker Trophy, given to the rookie who has both contributed to the sport and showed sportsmanship and influence both as a student and as an athlete. His first goal, a game winner, helped lead the Princeton Tigers to victory over Providence at the Denver Cup. In the 26 games he played in the 2011-12 season, Maugeri notched 3 goals and 6 assists.