Oswego State Roller Hockey player Tyler Beale has been playing hockey his entire life. After playing four years with the Xavier Knights in High School, he was curious about what would be his next step. After knowing he still wanted to play the game he loved his whole life, but didn’t want the same commitment that he had in college, he found the Roller Hockey Club his Freshman year.
“I didn’t want to have the same commitment I had with hockey, but I still wanted to be involved somehow during college,” Beale said. “The roller hockey team was the perfect fit because it was a more relaxed sport and it still gave me the time I needed to keep up with my school work.”
After being on the team for a short amount of time, Tyler began to fall in love with the sport and it quickly became more of a hobby. He started to experience much of the same aspects he was having playing ice hockey.
“One of my favorite parts was going on tournaments and traveling with the whole team,” Beale said. “When I was a freshman, the guys I traveled with constantly became some of my closest friends that I had through my whole college career.”
Tyler’s transition was difficult at first, he spent his whole life on the ice. Now he was choosing to make the change which of course comes with some growing pains. His first goal was when he knew he was finally transitioned.
“The transition from ice hockey to roller hockey was difficult at first because ice hockey is such a fast-paced game whereas roller hockey is more about slowing it down and maintaining possession,” Beale said. “The memory I hold fondest is definitely when I scored my first goal at Lock Haven University, that’s when I started to get comfortable with the transition.”
The long car rides on the weekends and playing multiple games a day early in the morning were all a part of the hard work Beale and his teammates put into it. They had one goal in mind: making the Nationals. This was the first year that the roller hockey team had two teams and they were set to go to the Nationals in Florida until Covid-19 shut all of that down.
“Nationals was a huge deal to us this year because it was the first time both our teams got a bid,” Beal said. “ It was gratifying to see that all of our hard work paid off, but really disappointing that we now can’t get that opportunity because this year we really felt we could make some noise in Fort Myers and make a deep run in the playoffs.”
Beale’s teammates felt the same way about the cancellation, Juniors Matt Pfeffer and Mike McCormick also felt the devastation.
“It was devastating,” McCormick said. “This was the first year we had an affiliate team which is made up of a lot of first-year players, so this takes away the experiences and opportunities for them to create some great chemistry that can last through their four years.”
“We beat all the odds,” said Pfeffer. “We found out we received a bid to the Nationals to Fort Myers a few weeks before COVID came.” “The feeling was still fresh in our mind and to get that all taken away in such a short amount of time was crushing to the entire group.”
For his teammates, they still have some time to come back and better than ever. Now they will have time to try and make themselves better to make their last season next year the best one yet.
“To stay in shape I’ve been doing the same routine I had over the Summer,” McCormick said. I usually go for 5-10 mile runs, 50-100 pushups per day with 50-100 sit-ups per day.” “I just need to make sure I don’t watch too much Netflix during quarantine, Tiger King can sure be addicting.”
Matt Pfeffer’s biggest challenge to keeping in shape is to find an area to perfect his skills.
“Over this extended off-season it can be very easy to slack and lose some of the skills and energy you worked so hard to obtain over the whole year,” Pfeffer said. “I’ve been using my yard and created my own space to try and work on different skills like working on my handles.”
For Tyler and the rest of the Seniors on the roller hockey team, this was it. Everything they were hoping to achieve and the experience was all gone in a blink of an eye. No matter what type of sport it was, Tyler was always looking forward to the traveling and the feeling before getting onto the rink and just having fun.
“What I’m probably going to miss the most is waking up on game day and just seeing myself and everyone being so excited to get out on the rink and leaving with some wins.” “You can always still go out and play at different rinks after you’re done playing the sport but you can never get that feeling before games anymore.”
Although Tyler’s roller hockey experience is now over, he understands it’s time to hang it up and has hope for the younger guys that will still have the chance to play.
“It was a fun four years, it was more than roller hockey to me,” Beale said. “I’m constantly with these guys that I’ve played with and one thing that I can still be thankful for is the friendships I’m gonna be able to still have beyond the sport and college.”
While his college years are coming to an end, Tyler is looking forward to what’s to come in his future. He will be graduating with a Criminal Justice Major and will be pursuing a career in law enforcement back in New York City. For the Summer, you can probably catch him at Wolfe’s Pond Park on Staten Island going top left on some goalies on his days off from work.