Last year, Penn State joined the ranks of NCAA Hockey schools, and we at Black Shoe Diaries started our hockey coverage. This year, we're taking it up a notch, and we've added two new staff members to help with that coverage: Evan Romano and Chris Taylor. Evan is a current senior at PSU, and will be covering much of the games on-site for us; Chris is likely more well-known to you folks on BSD, as he's been a community member for some time.
Please join me in welcoming them to the staff, and I'll let them both tell you about themselves, in their own words:
Evan, on Evan:
Evan is a senior at Penn State, majoring in Print Journalism while minoring in sociology.
Hailing from America’s Town, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Evan (@EvanRomano on Twitter) is a life-long New York sports fan, suffering year-in and year-out with the Jets and Knicks, while enjoying the occasional successes of the Yankees and Rangers. He also is a newly minted Arsenal fan, blatantly choosing the team with the star player who looks like Steve Buscemi.
Evan has a major crush on Henrik Lundqvist because, I mean, who wouldn’t?
In addition to attending class, Evan also works as the Sports Chief at The Daily Collegian, where he helps to organize and lead the sports section every printing day of the week. Evan is also absolutely obsessed with some other things that are, believe it or not, UNRELATED to sports! He has a photographic memory when it comes to random actors in random television shows and movies, and currently also has a man crush on Chris Pratt because, again, who wouldn’t?
He will listen to and play any music, but mostly ranges from Kanye West, to the Arctic Monkeys, to Arcade Fire, before the occasional random pop hit from Taylor Swift or Charli XCX. Gotta keep it light.
Evan is going to be focusing on covering Men’s Hockey, something that he did last year for The Daily Collegian as well. He wishes he could live in Pegula Ice Arena, rather than simply watching Hockey there.
Chris, on Chris:
Hello everyone! Let me start by apologizing for the fact that I am not a four-star basketball recruit who has decided to take his talent to Pat Chambers' team. I wish I was, worse than you probably do. I'm just a writer. A two-star prospect with some upside if I can get my weight under control and apply myself a bit more at the keyboard during the off-season.
Growing up in Old Town, Maine, my family has no connection to Penn State, and no one in my family besides myself has ever been to State College. I ended up at Penn State when I reached the decision not to play football in college back in 1992. I had gotten lower-level scholarship offers to play football, notably from Kirk Ferentz who was coaching Maine at the time, but felt it wasn't worth playing football in college if it wasn't at the top level. So I turned my attention to Penn State as a student even though they had totally dissed me as a player.
I left PSU initially without a degree in 1995 but went back a dozen years later and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor's in Organizational Leadership. I currently lead my own organization of small businesses in Sarasota, Florida, with three tiny businesses, one a painting company, one a power washing outfit, and also a handyman business.
I grew up within walking distance of the University of Maine and their awesome hockey program. My grandfather was the equipment manager for their hockey team until he retired in 1994, a year after U-Maine won the national title. I've been around hockey for most of my life. I got my first pair of skates before I was born and played competitively until I had to decide between hoops and hockey as freshman in high school. I chose hoops, and a small part of my father died that day. But you know what they say, you can take the Mainer off the hockey rink but you can't take the hockey out of the Mainer. Maybe that's not what they say, but that's how I feel.
Covering PSU hockey is a dream come true for me. Now that my bonus check has cleared and the first direct deposit has hit my checking account, I don't mind saying that this is the type of thing that I would gladly do for free if I had to. It's too bad that the other new hockey bro, Evan, is still in college so they can't pay him. Bummer, dude.
I don't know if this will cause any confusion, but growing up my mom used to struggle with my full name, Christopher, so she just shortened it to 'Nick'. You guys can call me Chris or Nick, either way it's cool. Cool as ice.