PROUD GRANDFATHER — Rome Free Academy assistant hockey coach Bill Fleet is pictured with his grandson Michael Haag, who is one of the co-captains.

Miller named captain of UC lacrosse team

Published Feb 4, 2018 at 9:00am

Rome’s Brooke Miller has been named a captain on the Utica College women’s lacrosse team for the Pioneers this season. She has started all 45 games since her freshman season with 76 goals and 19 assists.

Last year, the Pioneers finished at 8-7, their sixth straight season with a record above .500. Our city of Rome is so proud of Brooke and all her accomplishments.

Did you know Brooke’s sister Caitlin is a senior at Rome Free Academy and an outstanding athlete in her own right?

Did you know their mom Karen is a principal in our Rome school system? Back in her teaching days she was my son Kevin’s favorite teacher.

When you watch Louisville men’s or women’s basketball teams on TV look for RFA grad and Louisville cheerleader Tessa Hunziker cheering on the sidelines. She is the flier so watch for the girl who gets thrown to the sky. Did you know she is the granddaughter of Marge Van Slyke? I found out she is a good friend of 2016 Heisman Trophy award winner Lamar Jackson. That is so cool.

The RFA varsity boys basketball team now has won 14 straight games. Is this actually a school record? I can’t remember a boys team from RFA win that many in a row and I have been watching since 1960. 

Back in 1996 the Rome Catholic High boys basketball team won 23 games in a row. Jim Kenny was the coach and it is a city record that will be almost impossible to break.

I watched the Syracuse basketball team play Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech last week. They seem to be the team that can’t shoot straight. It hurts my eyes to watch Jim Boeheim’s team play this year. When I see Gerry McNamara coaching on the bench I realize how much the Orange need a shooter.

Pick of the week: Eagles 27, Patriots 24. I like Philadelphia’s defense better than New England’s defense. I hope my longtime Patriots friend Ron Bouley forgives me.

Geek of the week: The NBA All-Star selectors. I have been to 10 Charlotte Hornets games and Kemba Walker is having an outstanding season. I can’t believe he is left off the team.

Rome sport nickname: Steve Baker “The Home Run Maker.”  Steve lives in Charlotte and is a successful real estate broker. He is a 1998 RFA three-sport athlete and had a great college baseball career at Liberty University.

I ran into Bill Fleet last summer and he told me the RFA hockey team would be very young.

I sensed they might struggle this year and am so excited to see they have won seven of their last nine to improve to 8-8-2. Jason Nowicki is an outstanding coach and this has to be one of his most satisfying seasons.

The team started out with a 1-6 record but with the hot goaltending of three-year starter Ethan Siderine they have positioned themselves for the third seed in the upcoming sectionals.

How often does a grandfather get to coach his grandson? Senior Michael Haag is Bill Fleet’s grandson. He must be so proud.

Congratulations to the RFA seniors on the team: Michael Haag, Tommy Yoxall, Lucas Crofford, Ryan Pohorenec, Owen Edwards, Zachary Wells and Ethan Siderine. Your team will be remembered for a long time.

I want everyone who reads my column to know this about me: Joe Ryan has never played Candy Crush. (So please stop inviting me)