Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

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Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

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Article excerpt

DePaul hockey team never backs down

Regarding "DePaul on thin ice" (Page S-5, Dec. 23):

Mia Hamm, one of the greatest female soccer players of all time, couldn't have said it any better: "True champions aren't always the ones who win, but those with the most guts."

Sometimes the true champions of a hockey game are not the forwards who score a hat trick, the goalie who records a shutout or even the coach who has won his last five games. True champions are the ones who have the guts to constantly get up and stay up in the face of adversity.

Let's forget the score sheet for a moment and take a look at the boys and girls of the DePaul High School varsity ice hockey team, all 11 of them. These kids willfully endure 6 a.m. practices, unfavorable media publicity, constant heckling from other students and opponents, as well as an inevitable "mercy-rule" loss after every hard-fought game. All of this is easily enough to make most people quit, but they do not.

Head Coach Joe Redmond instinctively exemplifies the meaning of a true champion and demonstrates these very important leadership qualities to his players. As a first-year coach, it would have been too easy to just quit the program and move on. Merely based on the number of players and the scores of the games played thus far, it would have been a righteous decision, but he hasn't quit.

As parents, we should be extremely proud of our kids and the invaluable life-learning lessons and skills they are being taught through the game of hockey. Regardless of whether the naysayers mention a team skating on thin ice, these guys are true Spartans, champions who won't back down. Actually, they've won their game even before the puck drops.

Joe Dellapi Sr.

Riverdale, Dec. 24

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