Well, varsity hockey is back in Broome County this season debuting this Friday, and yesterday, I got to speak to the newly merged squad on their excitement for the season. Our latest Athlete of the Week, or really Team of the Week, sponsored by Amphenol Aerospace.

Three schools-Windsor, Vestal and Seton combining to form one team, the only varsity hockey team in Broome County.

"Just brings a higher level to the game for me and all these people playing," said junior goalie Peterson Kressly.

And despite being a culmination of three different schools, chemistry is not something they lack.

"Just a bit like a brotherhood almost," said junior defenseman Ashton Werner. "We've been playing with each other since we were eight, nine years old. So, you know, we're always messing with each other and just trying to make each other as best as we can."

Which will need to happen...

"And yeah, we're looking forward to it," said junior right wing Will Pipher. "But it's definitely going to be a challenge. But a challenge is a good thing. That's what we're here for to get better, get some wins."

The squad hits the ice this Friday in a scrimmage before heading up to Geneva for game one.

"It's not a level I've played at so I'm going to have to expect anything and everything," Kressly said. "And just give it my all."

And this team understands that this year isn't just about this season, but about building a culture and a program in the area.

"Putting like these schools for hockey on the map because Section four hasn't always had the greatest hockey around here," Werner said. "So if we can get it going around here, that'd be a success."

And eventually, or maybe even immediately, compete with the crop of New York State Public High School Athletic Association teams.

"First season is just going out there and see what happens every game," Pipher said.

For more info on the team and to hear from head coach Jim Lalley, go here.