Inline hockey team is small but mighty


Photo credit: Marc Wilson

While many Chico State students belong to multiple clubs on campus, some are also on an athletic team hoping to continue their careers at a competitive level.

Unfortunately, some smaller clubs and teams often fly under the radar and go unnoticed. The Chico State inline hockey team is a perfect example of the many clubs on campus that don’t get as much attention as they should.

First-year member of the inline hockey team and senior Brook Oneto provided insight into what it’s like to be a member of the team. Due to a lack of suitable practice places, the team uses a facility about 10 minutes north of Chico in Hamilton City.

Most of the recruiting is done through tabling to talk with interested players. Once a list of players is gathered, they hold a one or two-day tryout to scout out potential players. Oneto, a former ice hockey player, said “the team is full of guys who have all played hockey and are around the same skill level.”

Oneto learned how to skate when he was 4 and has been playing hockey for about 15 years. After playing for such a long-time Brook just “wanted to take a break,” but then began to miss competing at a high level. Because of this, he decided to join the team his senior year.

“Coming onto the team as the new guy was intimidating at first but luckily I meshed with the team pretty quickly,” Oneto said. “Things aren’t as serious as they were with competitive hockey in high school but we do want to win nationals so we know what we have to do once we hit the rink.”

The team was ranked first in the nation in their division in November and holds a 17-1-1 record, including a third place finish in the regional tournament in Corona. They will be headed to Fort Myers, Florida in two weeks to compete in the national tournament.

When asked who their competition might be, Oneto said that the other top ranked schools in their division are the University of Arizona and Cal State Fullerton. However, they should see a lot of tough teams in nationals because hockey is taken much more seriously at schools located in the east coast.

Oneto wants people to know that inline hockey is “more than just inline skates and a ball.” There’s still lots of skill involved as there is even a professional inline hockey league.

The Chico State inline hockey team, like many of the club sports teams on campus, lacks decent exposure across the campus. These teams deserve more recognition, especially when they’re having the kind of success the hockey team is having.

Marc Wilson can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.