The Valley Forge Minutemen and Center Ice family would like to congratulate long time Minutemen player Joey Macrina as he has committed to Qunnipiac University. Joey, a 2006 birth year, began his journey at Center Ice in 2009 at 3 years old starting with the learn to skate program and quickly advancing to the learn to play program. By the age of 4, he was playing for the Valley Forge Colonials as a Mite. He matriculated to the Minutemen mite team that was comprised mostly of 2005 birth years and coached by Keith Grimley. Joey played on the 2005 team through PeeWee Minor at which point he moved to the 2006 team and played for Dany Doucet for one year before John Geverd became the head coach. He played for the 06 team through U15 before moving to the Long Island Gulls this season. The 06 teams he played on were always challenged as they played high level tournaments as well as strong non-league games. The teams were always in contention for league, playoff and district championships, but that was not the only reason why he loved his time here at Center Ice. Joey stated, “The culture and the amount of great people that were a part of the team always made the experience so much better. We focused on bringing in good kids who wanted to work, and then the rest would take care of itself. I was always satisfied with who I had around me because I knew that each and every one of us was going to fight for one another. Those years with coach John Geverd really built the foundation to the player I have become today. All those times when I got on the ice with him and he would ask “What do you wanna do today?” I would always reply with “We gotta start with skating”. So, we would spend a half hour every time we went out together just skating, working on strides and mechanics of my stride. Most kids get sick and tired of that stuff but to me it never did because Coach John always found a way to make it fun and different. We were always experimenting new drills and new ways of trying to get the most out of the time we had together. I never wanted to be anywhere else, and I cherished 100% of the time I spent with the Minutemen organization.”
The individual skills and focus on skating have been a staple in the Minutemen program. In today’s game the most important thing is skating. Practices and skills sessions have individual components to them as well as team concepts and strategies that incorporate the individual skills. We try to improve players as individuals which in turn helps the team improve. The kids that we want on our Minutemen teams are self-motivated players who have a high compete level and are coachable. Joey embodies all these characteristics. That is why he was successful when he played here and why he will continue to be successful throughout his hockey career and more importantly, in life after hockey.
Joey’s family has also played a huge role in his hockey career and like most hockey families have made many sacrifices to help get him to this point in his career. Joey’s parents, Bob and Annemarie, would be at most home games if one of his 3 siblings didn’t have something else going on and Bob would be at every game standing in the corner. According to Bob, “My experience at the Minutemen as a parent literally couldn’t have been any better. I could go on and on about specific things over the 13 years, but it would take forever. It basically comes down to a few basic things. Not being a “hockey guy” I was just looking for good people to surround my kids with. I knew immediately that’s what MM had. I feel extremely lucky to have had the coaches we had. Top notch when it came to the game and right from the start there was structure and accountability, that really just reinforced how we were raising the kids, so we were hooked. Joey loved being at the rink with his coaches and teammates… literally his favorite place to be and thing to do. The coaches and staff fueled his passion for the game and helped him become the player he is, but more importantly for me they helped cultivate some pretty cool character traits that I believe have made him a better person. I couldn’t ask for any more than that from a sport or organization as a parent in my opinion.”
The Valley Forge Minutemen and Center Ice family want to congratulate Joey and his family on his commitment to Qunnipiac and can’t wait to follow and support him as he continues his hockey career.