When it comes to deciding to play on a college team, you have to be aware of the fact that it is a huge commitment. Just ask senior Andrew McCann. Andrew is on the Cortland Men’s Hockey team, and is currently amidst his fourth season. Hockey has been a part of his entire life, and he wouldn’t want it any other way. He played competitively before coming to Cortland, but joining the Cortland team really has been a highlight of his life. What is he going to miss the most after he graduates? Well, the other day I got to interview him and he told me. Graduating is one thing that is tough to think about, but leaving teammates is even harder.
When did you first start thinking about playing hockey?
“I started skating at three years old and playing on an organized team at four. I wanted to play hockey as soon as I could walk.”
How long have you been playing for?
“I’ve been playing hockey for 20 years.”
Did you play on any competitive teams before you came to Cortland?
“I have always played on competitive teams all my life growing up and lived away from home the last two years before I came to Cortland, billeting with families for the teams in the OJHL (Ontario Junior Hockey League) that I played for.”
What made you want to play for the Cortland team?
“I went on a tour of Cortland and was impressed with the school, the campus and courses offered. I wanted hockey to be part of my life at the college level so I knew I would be pursuing that when I came as a freshman.”
What is your favorite memory while playing on the Cortland team?
“I have met so many new people and these friendships are something that will last long after my time at Cortland is over. It is hard to find time for anything else when you are on a sports team so having people with the same schedule as you that understand the workload is important, and you have that with your teammates.”
How do you balance hours of practice as well as getting schoolwork done?
“I have always been used to tight schedules, playing on competitive teams that traveled long distances. I do a lot of my school work later at night since I don’t mind staying up late. I try to start things earlier so I can keep track of what is due first, knowing my weekends are taken up with games.”
What types of challenges have you faced while being a part of the team?
“The pace is one thing. Being organized is not always the easiest for me so I have had to do that much better. Juggling the personalities of so many different people that you spend so much time with is also a challenge but we also have one big part of our lives in common so that makes it easier.”
Do you have a pregame routine?
“Yes. A couple of hours before the game, I take a nap and have pasta and chicken before games. I usually stick to both of those two things each game.”
What are you going to miss the most about the team after you graduate?
“It will come down to the people. Some of them I have spent the entire four years with, in close proximity so it will be different not seeing them everyday. I’m also going to miss knowing what I am doing for almost my entire day, during hockey season will be a big difference when that schedule is not there any longer.”
What advice would you give to incoming freshman who would like to tryout for the team?
“I think the biggest thing is that they have to really want to make the commitment to play at this level since it is a big part of your overall schedule. During hockey season, it is practice every single day with games on the weekend and it takes up the majority of your time. You have to be willing to make that adjustment along with being able to handle the course load of being a freshman, which is an adjustment in itself.”
Thank you , Andrew, for taking the time to make this interview happen, and best of luck!