RFA freshman Lokker hits ice for Syracuse Nationals 14U hockey team

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Every young athlete has dreams of playing the sport they love at the next level.

That’s no different for Rome Free Academy freshman Tyler Lokker.

He’s playing for the Syracuse Nationals 14U hockey team this fall.

“It feels pretty awesome,” Lokker said. “It’s an incredible experience and there’s lots of talent.”

Sixty kids from all over New York state went through three days of intense tryouts in order to be named to the squad.

The right-winger said he’s getting good minutes playing for the Syracuse team.

“We have three centers and four sets of wingers,” Lokker said. “I’m seeing a lot of time on the power play and some time on the penalty kill, but I like the power play more. There’s more room and more space.”

Lokker started playing hockey when he was 6 years old. He’s played for the Rome Grizzlies, and he’ll be playing in his second season for the RFA varsity hockey team this winter for head coach Jason Nowicki.

“Tyler is a very talented young player,” Nowicki said. “I could see from very early on that he had a knack for putting the puck in the net. Over the course of the shortened season last year, Tyler worked hard and improved every day. I’m excited about having him as one of our core guys on a team that is set compete for a title these next few seasons.”

Speaking about his time playing for Syracuse, Lokker said the competition is pretty good.

“The teams that we play are pretty good,” Lokker said. “I think that we’re a little bit better, and our goalies are phenomenal. It’s a lot faster paced than the Grizzlies or the Comets.”

Seeing a competitive side of Lokker isn’t something out of the ordinary.

His older sister, Nicolina, plays varsity soccer for the Black Knights and his younger sister, Isabella, plays on the modified soccer team for RFA.

“We’re proud of him and how hard he works at it,” Tyler’s parents Dan and Daniela said.

Tyler has a goal of reaching juniors and getting to the NHL to play for his favorite team, the New York Rangers, a fandom that runs throughout the Lokker family.

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