ROUSES POINT - Calling all Cougar hockey alumni!
For the last three years, former Northeastern Clinton Central School hockey players have returned to the area to compete against one another in "friendly competition."
Vincent Nigro, organizer of the game, said the idea just "popped" into his head one day.
"Four years ago, I put it out as best as I could," recalled Nigro. "The goal was just to get everybody, all these guys together."
Although he grew up on Long Island, Nigro frequented the area as a kid to visit family, and began to form friendships with many of the guys on the hockey team at NCCS. In 1991, he moved here permanently.
"I should have been born up here," he laughed.
Through the last three years, Nigro has seen men come from all over the country to participate in the annual alumni hockey game.
"They come as far away as Arizona, Florida, Myrtle Beach," he explained. "Although, a lot of people are still local."
The game, which will be held Saturday, Feb. 27, will team up any past hockey member who graduated from NCCS. Teams will be split based on odd and even years of graduation.
"So, there's a balance of older players and younger players," Nigro explained.
"I know a lot of these guys," he added. "They're pretty good friends. You meet new people also. They have played in the program and it's great to see guys that haven't seen each other ... since they graduated."
The game also brings out past coaches.
"It's really neat to see the interaction between the old players and the old coaches," Nigro said. "It's pretty popular."
Nigro already anticipates having a good turnout this year. The first year saw more than 50 players, with the following bringing in 70 players, enough for two games, instead of the usual one.