Senior Captain Focused on Final Run on the Ice

R.J. LaSpina is a team captain and starting forward for the Sabers.   Credits: Rob DiAntonio

Somers senior R.J. LaSpina is a team captain and forward on the Somers/North Salem varsity ice hockey team.

How old were you when you first started playing ice hockey and how did you get started?

I started playing hockey when I was 4 years old. My parents took me to Brewster Ice Arena for a free skate; I saw kids playing hockey and instantly I knew it was what I wanted to do.

Sign Up for E-News

What are the team’s goals this season?

This season our team wants to help improve each player individually, which will lead to the team’s success. But most importantly we want to have a good time, especially for us seniors where this is our final run.

The team is off to a strong start with a win over Greeley and a shootout victory over John Jay-Cross River. What’s been the key to the strong start?

Our team consists of a young and overlooked group of kids with a ton of potential. We can run 2-3 lines and we’re able to keep up with our opponents.

As a senior captain, how do you see your role on the team, and how much do you value being a team leader?

It is an honor for me to be a captain of this great group of kids. I want to help each player grow not only on the ice but off the ice as well. I want to help raise leaders from the young group of kids for the following years to come.

What is your favorite team activity, pre-game or post-game ritual that you share with your teammates?

Pre-games in our locker room consists of joking around with a little music in the background. It is a very social environment, and it serves as a time to relax and have a good time before we go to work.

Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?

Over the years, my parents have served as my biggest role models. We have been through it all together and they have taught me to never give up and that with hard work you can get through anything.

Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?

I enjoy long walks on the beach and food is the key to my heart.

Do you plan on continuing to play hockey in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you choose that school?

Hockey has always been a huge part of my life, so I plan to continue it throughout my college career. I have not yet decided which college I will attend, but I plan to continue playing hockey wherever I go. 

Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?

I plan to study business because I’ve always liked math and it will serve as a gateway into various other work fields.

Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?

Although I am an avid New York Rangers fan, my favorite professional athlete is Sidney Crosby. He is incredibly skilled and it inspires me how he leads by example.

What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?

Before a game, I have a very broad spectrum of music that ranges from Zac Brown Band and country, to Kid Cudi and The Rolling Stones.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

No doubt it would be the ability to fly. I always wondered what it would be like if I could fly, so it would be a great little perk to have.

If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?

I would take a trip to any island. I love sitting on the beach in the warm weather, so I would enjoy being on any island.

What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?

My favorite post-game meal has to be steak. It has always been my favorite food and it serves as a great reward after a long game.

Best place to eat in Somers and why?

The LaSpina house. My dad is always making new and fantastic meals, so coming home for dinner is always something to look forward to.

Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?

Instagram. There’s a lot less to catch up on compared to the live Twitter feeds.

For a young athlete growing up in Somers, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the ice hockey program and why should they go out for the team?

For any young athlete, there is no greater feeling than playing the sport you love for your school. Being on the hockey team is a ton of fun and is a great way to represent your school.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


'We'll Have Meals Together'

A few days ago, I watched a rerun of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” In this particular episode, brothers Raymond and Robert went head to head over who would take care of their mother, Marie, during her later years (anticipating that father, Frank, would predecease her).

It brought back the decision Jack, Roe and I were faced with years ago regarding our mom. She was in her 80s, lived ...

Weather or Not

Feb. 2 has come and gone and once again, we have foolishly entrusted a large rodent with six weeks worth of weather forecasting. This year they had a whole entourage of guys who wanted to cram into the Groundhog Day action, but there’s one head groundhog aficionado who’s in charge when they open up Punxsutawney Phil’s cage. Both man and beast are dressed to the nines, one in a ...

The Night They Raided Spruce Street

It was the day of the Finch Ball. Jason had been away on business, but was expected home in time for us to attend that evening. 

I had graduated from Finch College two years earlier and was now married and expecting my second child. We lived in a one-bedroom garden apartment in Yonkers. It was a close community where everyone was young, friendly and just starting out. Each town house was ...

Should Valentine's Day Be Celebrated at School?

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’ve been a third-grade teacher for over 20 years and have never allowed my students to celebrate Valentine’s Day in my class. I know my colleagues think I’m mean, but I’m refusing to celebrate it for many reasons.

1) Children hand out cards to each other and there’s always some child left out or who gets very few; 2) Children are always asked ...

A Trip to the 'Liberry'

Raise your hand if you didn’t—did not—call the library the “liberry” when you were little. I’m guessing not a lot of hands just went up.

Didn’t just about all of us say “liberry” when we were learning to read? (Well, whaddya expect when a place is named something way too easy for little kids to mispronounce?)

OK. Now, raise your hand if ...

I'm Mrs. Heat Miser

To be perfectly honest, I did not need a large rodent with insomnia to convince me that we had six more weeks of winter. It’s been so cold outside lately that when I go out, my nostrils stick together. The dog is so hesitant to go out that he does his business right on the deck, less than five feet from the door, and then gives me a look of contemptuous indignation when he comes back in the ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25, 10:30 AM

Yorktown Heights

Kids Hamantash Bake

Religions And Spirituality

Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Westchester Collaborative Theater, Ossining

WCT Scene/Monologue Study Open For Enrollment Now

Arts & Entertainment Education Other

The Somers Record Shines a Light on 'Great' Community

February 9, 2018

To the editor,

How amazing to see my sister-in-law, Kim Maguire, on the cover of the Record!

We read our paper religiously! Last week, we saw our daughters' picture as volunteers at the Chili Cookoff! This is such a tight-knit community and having articles like the one done for Kim highlight some of the great people and servicemen and women who make this town so special. The writer who ...

Cuba Goes Country

February 16, 2018


RELEASE: “Cuba Goes County” to be held at The Palmer in Cuba, NY.

For more information or to schedule and interview, contact Theater Manager Michele Conklin at (585) 209-5512.

The Palmer Opera House is hosting “Cuba Goes Country” on Sunday March 11th- at 2:00 PM

Come join us for a boot stompin', toe tappin' afternoon of country ...

'Are You Friggin' Kidding Me?'

February 15, 2018

Faye M. DeSanto

Guest Columnist

I never watched the hit TV Show “Mad Men.” My best friend, who rarely watches TV, recommended it to me when it was gaining its first good reviews. I said, “I lived through that time period. I can see no good coming from reminding men about that sexist era.” Little did I know how right I was.

My husband drooled over the short-lived ...