Cisek has passion for ice hockey

BY KEVIN WOODRUFF

Blue Ridge junior Mike Cisek is finally taking his passion for ice hockey and applying it to playing competitively.

That’s because this fall Cisek, 16, of Hallstead, has joined up with the Southern Tier Hockey Association in Binghamton, N.Y.

“My love for the sport started on the day I was born,” Cisek said. “I grew up in a family that loved hockey.”

Cisek said he got his love for the sport mostly from his dad, Mike, who played roller hockey competitively when he was in high school.

Growing up, Cisek, a lifelong Ottawa Senators fan, didn’t have too many places to play the sport competitively, especially given the cost of joining a league.

“I finally had the chance to get the money together to join up with a league,” Cisek said. “I’ve always had a passion for the sport, but never had a way to play it before.”

Cisek first started skating at four years old, and throughout his youth would find any piece of ice he could to practice at home.

“When we would get rain storms and they would freeze over I would go out back and skate,” Cisek said.

In addition to skating in his yard, throughout the years Cisek has attended open hockey at Broome Community College, and has gotten to know BCC coach Patrick Collins.

Cisek, who started practices a few weeks ago is looking forward to his team’s first game on Saturday, Nov. 3.

He will play either left or right wing for the team.

However, it hasn’t all been a piece of cake for Cisek since he joined, as he has had the tough task of learning how to ice skate backwards.

“That’s one thing I’ve found challenging,” Cisek said. “But I’m getting it down, and getting the crossover from forward to backward skating down. I’ll be ready for the season.”

Cisek’s main goal this year is to help his team to a championship, but his other goal is to gain experience in a league.

That’s because Cisek hopes to cultivate his love for the sport into a place on the Broome Community College hockey team.

“I want to try and continue to play next year,” Cisek said. “And then hopefully go on and play in college.”

He talked to Collins in the past, and was told he should join up with a league to get that experience.

Cisek also has passion in the classroom, as he is an honor roll student at Blue Ridge High School.