Here I am to apologize, yet again, for the long delay between my posts. I do have excuses, as I always do – shingles and double vision last year, Lyme disease and Bell’s palsy this year – but you don’t want to hear about that, right? You want hockey! Me too. 🙂

Even though we’re well into the 2016-17 season, I have to go back and finish where I left off at the end of last season. It wouldn’t be fair to the terrific boys in the class of 2016 and their wonderful families if I didn’t give a little closure to their time at RPI by writing about their hockey banquet speeches. So here we go.

Sam Goodman went first and was the designated “thanker,” mentioning everyone associated with the team in any way so that the other boys could say (albeit in fancier words) “like Sam said.” He added his personal thanks to family and friends, and to Coach Appert for giving him such a great opportunity. The highlight of Sam’s speech, though, was when he told us there was only one time during his two years with the team that he didn’t do what Coach Appert told him to do – “when he told me to get in the game against Harvard!” The game was lost and the season all but over and of course his coach wanted to give him that opportunity in the last game, but I guess Sam wasn’t expecting it!

Travis Fulton went next and spoke of how honored he was to have been a part of such a “storied program with national titles and so many famous alumni” and how much it meant to him to fulfill his dream to be a D-I hockey player at a school like RPI, where the fan and community support is so amazing. Travis also thanked his family at lenth, and especially his fiancee, fellow RPI senior Celia D’Agostino, and said he was “looking forward to August.” They were married on August 14th.

Mark Miller was next up. He commented, as so many of the boys do, on how fast the time went and how, as a freshman, he listened to the senior speeches and thought what a long time it would be before he was up there but in the end it seemed like no time at all. Mark said that RPI let him combine “everything that’s important to me – family, a world-class engineering degree, and the ability to play D-I hockey for one of the best programs in the world.” He thanked his family at length, and especially singled out his fiancee. Mark and Serra were married on July 28th.

Phil Hampton’s speech took a bit different approach. He acknowledged that he had a difficult time dealing with his very limited playing time in his first two years and said for a long time he wasn’t sure he would be at RPI long enough to make a senior speech. He said he took stock after his sophomore year and decided that “one man’s failure is another man’s success” and that he would stay, work as hard as he could, and make the most of his time at RPI. He did that, and very well, and had a great senior year, playing in every game. Phil also turned out to be the comedian of the evening, peppering his speech with jokes that had the crowd laughing, like when he said that his proudest moment at RPI was beating Coach Appert at ping pong to earn the team a day off from practice! Phil has been back to RPI to visit already, attending a job fair and still looking for that perfect position in his field of aeronautical engineering.

Next blog entry – the remaining four seniors: Milos Bubela, Zach Schroeder, Jason Kasdorf and Chris Bradley.


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