In just the last four years, the CYA’s girls program has graduated over 35 players into the NCAA, an achievement the program is very proud of. “All of our athletes work hard to play NCAA college hockey,” commented John Cimba, CYA Girls Director. “When going through the recruiting process, we try to emphasize to all of our players that their overall love for the school they choose should eclipse the hockey program. Our athletes should ask themselves this question: If something happened that ended their hockey career, would this be the school where they’d want to spend their college life.”
CYA engages each player in the college commit process, emphasizing a “school-first” mentality, providing guidance to players and families in an effort to find a college program where the player will be very successful both on the ice and in the classroom. CYA knows it can be hard to see the forest for the trees when schools are paying great attention to you as a hockey player.
Of the 11 seniors on this year’s graduating class, nine have committed to playing NCAA hockey next season. The other two players have college hockey opportunities in front of them but are considering choosing a different college path for themselves based on a “school-first” mentality.
“As a coach, the maturity of that decision is very impressive.” says Cimba. CYA sees the fact that these young women are making strong decisions for their own future based on more than just hockey as a huge success. “It’s a testament to the club’s focus on developing the individual and not just the hockey player. That is what we stand for and what I am most proud of at CYA,” Cimba says.
February is always an interesting time of year for any senior. Players are seeing the end of their youth careers only weeks away. But along with the excitement this next chapter brings, there is also a looming realization that their competitive hockey career is almost over, that fours years of college will go by quickly, and that being in a place that fulfills all aspects of who you are as a student athlete is priority number one.
CYA would like to wish every graduating player great success, no matter what club you are at as you finish your youth career, and that you all end up in a place that fulfills you both on and off the ice. “School-First.”