Travis Roy A Role Model For Beanpot Participants
By Chris Marino, Assoc. Sports Editor
As the Boston College men’s hockey team torched past the Northeastern Huskies, I couldn’t help but think about the words of one man. This former hockey player became a solid force throughout the New England prep school hockey circuit. He was a dedicated, hardworking player. His dreams were finally realized in the form of an athletic scholarship to Boston University. This player, known by many throughout the college hockey community, is Travis Roy.
As most people know, devastation struck within Roy’s very first shift for the Terriers. On an attempt to check an opposing University of North Dakota player, he hit the boards awkwardly, resulting in the cracking of his fourth and fifth vertebrae. He became paralyzed, and was never able to play again.
The Monday before the Beanpot, the Beanpot held its annual tournament luncheon. Roy was the guest speaker for the event. He opened his speech by describing how honored he was to be asked to speak. He did, however, admit that it was still challenging not to have had the opportunity to play in the Beanpot.
“It’s a little bittersweet,” he said. “I can’t deny it. Surely anyone growing up in New England has dreamed of going to a Beanpot school. I was excited to be headed to BU so that I could have that experience.”
This sentiment made me think about not only the fragility of athletics, but also the emotions that athletes invest in their respective sports.
Roy went on to explain that one of the things he misses the most is the locker room atmosphere.
“I always remember our parents yelling at us to come out of the locker room an hour, half hour after the game,” he said. “Just because you love that moment, you love that time in there. The lessons you learn in there, and the camaraderie.”
Listening to a speaker like Roy can give athletes a lot of perspective. Here is a man who was at the top of the mountain, playing the sport he loves. In an instant, he lost that opportunity. He has the chance to reflect on the importance of sports. He undoubtedly values the little parts of the game, such as the relationships he’s made with teammates.
Roy described this idea of “the hockey family.” He said that the relationships made throughout a player’s career create a special bond between hockey players. This extends especially to the four teams playing in the Beanpot. Roy praised the support given to him and his family after his accident. He said that, “although there are divisions, those rivalries are dropped” during times of suffering and struggle.
The Beanpot epitomizes the values necessary in sports. There are four teams playing for pride. These are players, coaches and fans who realize the beauty of the game. Roy was the perfect speaker for this event, because he has the perfect attitude of a Beanpot player.
Watching Johnny Gaudreau score two goals in his Beanpot debut and Paul Carey collect two scores in his final Beanpot tournament finale, it is easy to tell that this Eagles squad appreciates the little things. There is a sense of camaraderie and sportsmanship that is necessary for playing under a head coach like Jerry York, and this team has it.
There’s something special about this team. The players seem to have the sportsmanship necessary to take their games to the next level. They have faced adversity. Between the goalie shuffle, loss of a strong senior class and several tough conference losses, this team has not had the smoothest season. However, they seem to have overcome this adversity.
York has applauded the leadership of captains Tommy Cross, Paul Carey, and Barry Almeida all season long, and with good reason. These three players have led by example and have helped this team mature on the fly.
Monday’s victory over Northeastern seemed like the culmination of this team’s season-long development. The whole team played tough at both ends of the ice. They made the necessary passes, created turnovers and took care of the puck.
This team values the opportunity to play in the Beanpot tournament and respects the honor that comes with donning the maroon and gold. They respect all aspects of the game, just as Roy expressed in his speech.
Although there are certainly rivalries amongst these four schools, it is easy to see the respect between coaches, players and schools. This tournament epitomizes what is good in athletics. It’s athletics in its purest form. Playing for the glory and pride of Boston. This is the kind of game Travis Roy played. It’s the kind of play that York expects from his team. It’s the way sports should be played.
Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 Updated: Thursday, February 9, 2012 02:02
Click here to view original article in ‘The Heights’