Roller Hockey From The Players' Perspectives

Roller Hockey From The Players' Perspectives

Their eyes have seen so much and the only direction they look is forward.
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It's for the love of the game, it's for the love of winning and the hate of losing.

Players that hail from all over the world. Their eyes have seen so much and their minds have been in both the highest and the lowest of places.

The game has changed their lives forever and their goal is to help get the sport that changed their lives to where it once was.

That sport is roller hockey and the players have all helped change the game forever. I have interviewed several players to get eyewitness accounts on how important the game really is.

There are just so many players and it would be impossible to interview them all. These players have all played at some of the highest levels in roller hockey and were all willing to share their stories.

Stephen Campbell is one of the biggest names in the sport and has dedicated his entire life to roller hockey. Campbell has played all levels of roller hockey including the men's national USA team in 2010 and 2014.

Campbell has risked so much and has put his heart and soul into every shift on the court.

"It has kept me out of trouble, I’ve made some amazing friends, I’ve traveled the world, and its given me a career. I wouldn't have picked another sport growing up if I could do it all over again," Campbell said.

There are so many factors that make this sport so special and all of these factors have helped push Campbell to where he is today.

When I asked what his favorite memory was when playing roller hockey, he replied:

"I’ll have to go with Team USA FIRS 2014 World Games. If there is anything you could ever do as a roller hockey player, this is it.

For those that don’t know, the world games is ran by the Olympic committee. The World Games offer a wide variety of sports that are trying to show the committee why each sport should be chosen as an official Olympic sport. This tournament took place in Cali, Colombia. Our opening ceremonies had over 60,000 people in a full soccer arena cheering on our presence. Every game we had 3000 to 5000 plus people watching our games.This too, we ended up winning Gold, which just so happen to have fallen on my birthday. It was a time I’ll never forget."

As mentioned above Stephen Campbell was a huge part of the team USA roller squad. In 2010 Campbell was selected to play for the FIRS men's national roller hockey team.

"I think a top 3 moment in any athletes eyes, is to one day put on a Jersey representing your Country and to compete against the world," Campbell said.

To this day Campbell stays involved in the sport as he works for Alkali, a top manufacturer of hockey equipment while also running his own custom jersey company.

Campbell has traveled all around the world to places like Italy and China. Campbell is also currently playing for the Revision Flex in the Pama Pro Invitational so make sure you check out one of the best players in the game.

Neumann was nothing short of a power house with Elite players like Shane Fox, PJ DiMartino, Ryan Carr, AJ Ehinger, Tyler Kraft, Anthony Koslow, and goaltender Michael Maczynski.

Lindenwood, a private school located in St.Charles, Missouri is a school that is known for their roller hockey team. Lindenwood is also one of the only schools to give out roller hockey scholarships; other schools include Neumann and Bethel.

These battles with other schools have helped shape Fox into the player that he is today.

"There is no better feeling than traveling the country, the world with your friends and winning," Fox said. "Most of my greatest memories and times come from traveling around and playing roller hockey."

Shane Fox is becoming a household name around the roller hockey world especially at NARCH where he plays for the Mission Labeda Snipers pro squad.

Team USA was locked and loaded with more talent than most teams and wearing number 13 was Neumann's Shane Fox.

When I asked what his favorite memory was, Fox said:

"Representing my country and playing for Team USA in the IIHF World Championships in Tampere, Finland in 2015. The treatment you get playing for that team is unexplainable and the feeling of wearing that jersey is as well."

Fox has built his career and one common theme comes out of it, winning. Fox has won two college national championships, a TORHS Pro, a NARCh Pro, and a Pama Pro Invitational championship.

A New York Islander prospect that is also a pro roller hockey player, John Schiavo has made a name for himself in both roller and ice hockey.

Schiavo is becoming a household name at Islanders camp and in the world of roller hockey.

Currently Schiavo is playing for the New York Islanders ECHL affiliate Missouri Mavericks. In the world of roller hockey, Schiavo has played for some of the biggest names in the game including Mission Bauer Next Gen, Mission Black Ice, and the world junior roller hockey Team USA squad.

Schiavo is huge ambassador of the sport and supports the notion that roller hockey helps your ice hockey game.

"Roller hockey definitely helps your vision, hands, and even your skating," Schiavo said.

The skating part isn't usually brought up but Schiavo has a skating trainer and roller is often a big contribution to his ice hockey skating.

Playing roller longer than ice definitely just shows how roller hockey can positively affect your ice game.

Schiavo grew up playing roller hockey before he ever even touched the ice proving that roller hockey breeds great ice hockey players. As expected roller hockey is brought up a lot and even at the New York Islanders training camp.

Most players knew he played roller and many of the other players in the camp have also played roller hockey at the Narch level.

Schiavo has impressed many at Islanders camp especially with his two unbelievable shootout goals.

If there is one player that I would want to look up to both on and off the ice it would be Schiavo.

There aren't many players that are as humble and good spirited as John Schiavo.

Just talking to him was a pleasure and when asked who he thinks the best player was he replied:

"It would be impossible to pick just one, everyone has their own skill set there's obviously guys like Noe, White, Cadiz, and Greg Thompson who is still one of the best defensemen in the game."

The Pama Pro Invitational kicked off July 29th and ended the 31st Schiavo's Mission Black Ice team captured the championship in a dominating 6-2 win over the Labeda Snipers. So the next time you think to yourself and say "roller hockey hurts your ice hockey game," talk to or even just watch Schiavo play and believe me you'll get a different answer.

Speed, one of the most important attributes a player can have in the game of hockey. One player that knows speed all too well is Team USA's own Junior Cadiz. In the sport of roller hockey playing for the Team USA is as close to the show as it gets.

He said:

"Every opportunity I've had was a dream com true and I am forever grateful for every chance I've had. Lets hope the old bones let me experience it once or twice more" Cadiz explained. This is yet another player that has dedicated his entire life to this sport and has played with and against some of the best players in the game including Travis Noe and Matt White. These interactions with players have helped make the game so special for Cadiz. When asked about what makes you keep coming back to the sport Cadiz replied "It's easy! The people, the weekends, the memories, the venues, lets not forget about the hockey. It’s been my job and has taken me to countries and places in the world I never even knew existed. I can’t say bye to the sport so easily after all its done for me."

Cadiz is yet another player that has made a name for himself and when I asked John Schiavo, who he thought the best player in the game is, he replied:

"There's obviously guys like Travis Noe and Matt White but there's also Junior Cadiz I think he's very underrated,"

Cadiz is often underrated until other players have the chance to play against him after that, all of that underrated talk goes out the window. Cadiz is right up there with the elites and there is only time for him to make more of a name for himself. To the people who don't think roller hockey will draw crowds talk to Cadiz who walked out to 60,000 people for an opening ceremony in Columbia. The game can only get bigger and because players like Cadiz are apart of the future the sport cannot die.

There are just so many different people in the game and it would be impossible to name them all. There will be more articles and I am definitely looking forward to interviewing more stars.

Players like Matt White, Itan Chivira, Juaquin Chivira, Travis Noe, Tyler Spezia, Kyle Novak, Brett Leggat, Greg Thompson and many more.

So many people have touched this sport for the better and have been amazing ambassadors for the sport.

One of these people who deserves recognition is CJ Yoder. Yoder is a player, coach, and mentor recognized all over the country.

Yoder plays for the pro Tour Mudcats team and is a huge factor in the teams success Yoder is a huge reason that the sport of roller hockey is growing so much as he founded the Professional Inline Hockey Association (PIHA) in 2002.

We need more people like Yoder, people that aren't afraid to step up and make a change. With this said let us spread the word to every possible media outlet and lets get roller hockey back on the map. Maybe one day, one day we will see roller hockey back on television until then we all have a job to do. All of our eyes as athletes have seen so much and the only place we can look is forward.

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

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UFC 241: Showtime For Nate Diaz

The Long-Awaited Grudge Match Has Been Made

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Former UFC Lightweight Champion and Former WEC Lightweight Champion Anthony "Showtime" Pettis gets himself an opponent he has been waiting for since he was sitting at the throne in the UFC's Lightweight division. Coming off of a knockout of the year candidate after he knocked out top welterweight contender Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson with a flying superman hook is booked in a fight that could very well be the fight of the year. It was announced that the returning Nate Diaz will meet Anthony "Showtime" Pettis in the Co-Main Event slot at UFC 241 in the welterweight division.

The long-awaited return of Nate Diaz is finally here after he was originally supposed to make his octagon return back at UFC 230 when he was expected to face the now interim UFC Lightweight Champion Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier, but that fell through after Dustin suffered a hip injury. After that, there was no news of any kind of return aside from Dana White saying the Diaz Brothers turn down fights.

On Ariel Helwani's mix martial arts show he had Anthony "Showtime" Pettis as a guest as Anthony really broke down how much he is looking forward to this fight. He also detailed how he will already be heading into fight camp even though the fight is on August 17th because that is how much he wants to knock out Nate Diaz. There always have been some kind of dispute between these 2 fighters so it will be interesting to see what would be said at the press conference if the UFC decides to hold on for UFC 241.

Since entering the UFC Anthony "Showtime" Pettis has stacked up 8 fight bonuses with the amazing performances he continues to put on. The former UFC Lightweight champion also has 9 wins in the organization with wins over huge names like Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Charles Oliveria, Jeremy Stephens, and now since entering the welterweight division former title challenger Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson. Anthony "Showtime" Pettis is looking to become a serious title contender in the UFC 170 pound division as he will meet the huge obstacle that is Stockton, California's own Nate Diaz.

Many were unclear and speculated if Nate Diaz was going to return. Including, who his potential opponent would be. Everyone was under the assumption that the only way that Nate Diaz would make his return to the octagon would be that 3rd fight with "The Notorious" Conor Mcgregor. Nate Diaz who become the first person to finish Conor Mcgregor in the UFC is also coming off of a loss to Conor Mcgregor in their rematch leaving both of them with 1 win and 1 loss against one another. It was even shocking when the UFC announced last year that Nate was gonna return against Dustin in the lightweight division.

At UFC 241 Nate Diaz will be returning to the welterweight division is a bout that will be huge as the main event is the rematch between former UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic and the current UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel "D.C." Cormier in a rematch that has been way too far overdue.

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