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By Samantha Carricato
SHARPSBURG, Pa. – Penn State New Kensington does not currently have a hockey team. However, they do have a hockey club, which is being headed by PSNK student, Chris Gizzi.
Gizzi took over the club just before the spring semester started. Gene Fredrick ran the club two years ago, before transferring to Penn State University Park. At first, nobody wanted to step up and take Fredrick’s position, so Gizzi decided that he would.
Why Penn State won’t approve the team, but they will approve the club is unanswered. Gizzi believes that schools in general are too cheap to fund an ice hockey team.
“Penn State West had a team together in the summer, which failed,” said Gizzi. “I wanted to try and get something going – anything. I decided to step up and take the position of captain for our club and keep it going.”
The club meets together once a week at Blade Runners in Harmarville to practice. The games are also once a week at the Valley Sports Complex in New Kensington. Valley Sports Complex also provides group skating classes, open skate times, figure skating, a sports shop and a sports bar.
“I enjoy playing; it’s a lot of fun,” said Richie Urbanski, a senior on the team. “I miss not playing with my friends, but I’m playing for my school so this is a fun opportunity.”
Currently, the school only pays fees that relate to the games.
The club is a means of students getting together to do what they enjoy and to stay fit.
“The New Ken club is a good way for me to try and stay in shape,” Mike Walters said, a freshman at PSNK, who plans on playing at University Park.