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Second year sophomore prepares for highly anticipated return

Sophomore+Nick+Pitarys+%28%2322%29%2C+skating+around+in+a+game+against+Pinkerton+last+season.+This+year+coming+off+a+leg+injury+sustained+last+season%2C+he+looks+to+prove+why+he+made+varsity+hockey+as+a+sophomore.
Sophomore Nick Pitarys (#22), skating around in a game against Pinkerton last season. This year coming off a leg injury sustained last season, he looks to prove why he made varsity hockey as a sophomore.

Sophomore Nick Pitarys (#22), skating around in a game against Pinkerton last season. This year coming off a leg injury sustained last season, he looks to prove why he made varsity hockey as a sophomore.

Photo by Tara Pitarys

Photo by Tara Pitarys

Sophomore Nick Pitarys (#22), skating around in a game against Pinkerton last season. This year coming off a leg injury sustained last season, he looks to prove why he made varsity hockey as a sophomore.

Chris Gozza, Reporter

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To this underclassman, hockey isn’t just a sport, it’s a passion.

For sophomore Nick Pitarys, this sport has been important to him since he first started when he was three years old. He has had a pretty successful hockey career up to this point, but it has only just begun. During his freshman year, he made the varsity hockey team, and that’s something most freshmen can’t say they’ve done.

“Since I started playing hockey, it’s been my whole life,” Pitarys said. “I realized this when I was out for six months, and it was depressing not being able to play hockey.”

Pitarys was stuck watching his team from the bench when he suffered a torn meniscus during the second game of the hockey season last year when Lancer Hockey faced their rival Pinkerton Academy.

“I had a bad feeling when the pain was still there 30 minutes after the incident,” Pitarys said. “I was in shock and every muscle in my body was contracted except for my left leg; it was completely limp.”

Throughout his hockey career, Pitarys has had many successes, including winning many championships, trophies, and stacking up accolades.

“It felt really nice to win those championships and trophies,”  Pitarys said. “It kept me coming back to the sport year after year wanting to win over and over again.”

Pitarys also has high hopes for his future in playing hockey.

“I am currently doing my best to pursue hockey as far as I can and will go as long as I can play,” Pitarys said. “Hopefully I can turn hockey into a living.”

Pitarys has known for awhile what college he plans on going to in order to pursue hockey as his future.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Minnesota due to the hockey crowd there, and to be able to live and play hockey there would be paradise to me,” Pitarys said.

The upperclassmen have been helpful in getting Pitarys ready to play varsity, and have welcomed him with open arms.

‘‘One upperclassmen who helped me would be Sean Cotter, however, he graduated last year,” Pitarys said. “Another great upperclassmen that has helped me feel at home on the team would have to be Jared Tuccolo.”

In his comeback season, Pitarys has high hopes for what this season will be and where the hockey team will end up.

“I feel like with the people who are returning, and the new people on varsity, we have the potential to go far this year,” Pitarys said.

Playing hockey for as long as he has, Pitarys has been exposed to a number of new opportunities, and he is grateful for what hockey has brought into his life.

“It’s amazing having people who are so different yet so alike at the same time,” Pitarys said. “You all share the same love for the sport and for each other.”

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Second year sophomore prepares for highly anticipated return