Hartford, Conn. - Most seniors in their last semester approach it in one of two ways. Some spend the last semester going all out and enjoying the last remaining weeks and days of a life without the responsibility of the real world, and some ,spend it worrying about the real world that is approaching on the not-so-far-away horizon (most probably fall somewhere in the middle of those two extremes). Michael DeMayo, senior captain of the Trinity men's ice hockey team, has the good fortune to wring every ounce of fun out the last couple of months of his college career.
Mike DeMayo is in this enviable position due the gainful employment he lined up for himself after he dons the cap and gown in May. Yes, even in an economy where many soon-to-be graduates are finding it quite difficult to land any type of employment, he will head to Barclays Capitol as an investment banker.
"It felt pretty good to have a job entering my senior year," chuckled DeMayo. "I did the internship last summer and made it to the final round of interviews and they offered me a job. I'm already done with my major, so I have been able to focus the majority of my attention on hockey."
One last order of business before replacing his skates and shoulder pads with wing-tips and legal pads is to lead the Bantam men's ice hockey team in one last chance at a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship. The Bantams face the Polar Bears of Bowdoin on Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC playoffs. For first-year Trinity Head Coach Matt Greason, simply qualifying for the playoffs is a valued accomplishment for this group of players. "I didn't know what to expect," said Greason. "We just kept improving and benefited greatly from the leadership of Joe (Tierney, the other co-captain) and Michael, and found ourselves in the playoffs."
The Bantams season was off to a rocky start even before it started; after four years at the helm for the Bantams, David Caturozolo resigned as head coach in August and the Bantams had to look for a replacement. The seniors had the choice of taking the reins, or risk having a dreadful finish to their athletic careers.
"We were forced to take control of the team in the fall," reflected DeMayo. "It helped us establish roles early on. We could not afford to fly under the radar in terms of team workouts and things like that."
While the Bantams student athletes took control of their team during the off-season, Athletic Director Michael Renwick was busy trying to find a suitable replacement for Coach Caturozolo (with Bantam legend John Dunham serving as the Interim Head Coach). Renwick finally landed Greason, an alum and former assistant coach on the ice hockey bench.
When the Bantam seniors learned of the AD's new choice, they were in no way surprised. All of the coaching applicants had an interview with Renwick and a faculty committee, but also had to undergo a student committee consisting of the entire senior class and one member from the junior, sophomore and freshmen classes. They were very happy with the choice. As Michael puts it, "We were familiar with him from his days as an assistant coach, but he brought a ton of credibility because of his prior coaching spot in the U.S. National Team Development Program. We knew he was going to have other great opportunities, but that Trinity was where he really wanted to be."
Greason brought passion and understanding to the unique situation, but realized early on that he needed some help from the veteran players. "I needed to put a lot of trust in our leadership group," Greason admitted. "I didn't have a large body of work to go on and had to lean on them more than I would have in a normal year. Mike Demayo has proven to be one of the best balanced young men I have ever seen. He has great job lined up and he is a professional in every aspect of life, respected by his team and impressive beyond his years."
The Bantams finished with a record of 9-12-2, 6-10-2 in conference play, with DeMayo chipping in 22 points on seven goals and 15 assists. He will play his 100th collegiate game on Saturday. The Trinity squad knows just making the playoffs is the first step and anything can happen from there. "Trinity has always done well as underdogs," DeMayo said.
Coach Greason added, "It's hopefully shaping up like my last year as an assistant here in 2008 when the Bantams made the NCAA Elita Eight after winning at Bowdoin in the first round of the NESCAC Tourney. We are confident about our chances."
written by Jacob Donnelly'09