CEDAR GROVE, NJ - A three sport athlete, Joe Kubu never takes a rest. After wrapping up the football season, he dove right into hockey season and immediately made a contribution to his team's performance. With four goals and four assists to his credit after only six games this season, Kubu is a key contributor to Passaic Valley/Cedar Grove's success and he is this week's Allstate Cedar Grove Athlete of the Week. The Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Shelby Mobley, Allstate Insurance Agent, 471 Pompton Ave., Cedar Grove.
"I'm really happy with the way our season has been going so far," Kubu said. "Practices are going well, everybody has been working hard and working well together."
Coach Mike Sheehan is thrilled with Kubu's performance so far, noting that sometimes transitioning from football to hockey can be difficult.
"Joe is a naturally gifted three-sport athlete. He is a player we rely on to win faceoffs and create traffic around the other team's net," Sheehan explained. "In fact, all four of his goals this season have come off rebounds or deflections right in front of the other team's net. Usually he gets off to a slow start after football season and gets better as the season goes on, so it's a positive sign that he's off to such a good start."
Kubu agreed that it can be challenging to transition from one season to the next, however he said he keeps his head down and tries to hit the ground (or ice) running. "It's definitely hard to jump to hockey, but I just work my butt off at practice and try to adjust," he stated. "I'm lucky to have good line mates and they really help me."
Though the season is still young, Kubu named the game against Westfield as his favorite so far and says if the team keeps playing like that he sees the playoffs in its future.
"We tied that game 2-2 -- we should have beat them -- but they are a very good team and that's definitely the best game we've played all year," Kubu explained. "If we keep playing like that we will definitely be in the playoffs."
Kubu said he feels confident about his team and their chances this year, noting that most of the roster are seniors who have been playing together at a varsity level since freshman year. He said perhaps the only challenge he sees is helping some of the younger players adjust to varsity play, but with the seniors to guide them it should be an easy transition.
Looking ahead, Kubu has his eyes on a state championship, which is always the ultimate goal. "I feel very confident about our team's chances this year," Kubu added. "Our roster is very experienced. We've been playing together for a long time and we know how to work as a team."
The Cedar Grove Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Shelby Mobley Allstate, 471 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove.
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.
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