Freshman Sean Spohr is turning heads with his 19 goals this season, which is fifth in the nation.
Spohr picked up the game at a very young age and hasn’t looked back since putting on a pair of skates.
“I was actually born in Germany and I was really into soccer,” said Spohr. He moved from Lohmar, Germany to Westfield, Mass. for his father’s job when he was around six years old. He wanted to get into soccer but he was too young to play anywhere. Spohr said that’s when his family decided to buy him a pair of skates and get him into hockey. “Ever since then, hockey became number one for me,” said Spohr.
Spohr graduated from Westfield High School in 2013. There, he also played for their hockey team, the Westfield Bombers. “We won states my senior year,” said Spohr, who added that another Hudson Valley ice hockey player, Adam Hosmer, was on his high school team as well.
After high school, he attended Hoosac Prep School in Hoosick Falls. After completing a postgraduate year there in 2014, Spohr decided to take a year off from school to play Junior Hockey for the Springfield Pics in West Springfield, Mass. Spohr also stood out while playing for the Springfield Pics with 29 goals and 38 assists during the 201415 season.
It was actually through his coach for the Springfield Pics where Spohr first heard about Hudson Valley. His coach, Roger Westbrooks, knew Vikings head coach Matt Alvey. They created the connection that lead Spohr to attend Hudson Valley in fall 2015.
“I didn’t know how I was going to feel about [Hudson Valley] when I first came but it’s clicking pretty well and I’m liking it here,” said Spohr.
Spohr gives a lot of credit to parents and his older brother, Daniel, for supporting his hockey career. “I was lucky to have parents that invested so much time and money into everything,” His father passed away five years ago.
After his father’s passing, Spohr said his mother sold their house in Westfield and moved towards central Whales in Massachusetts. He moved to the 518 to make an easier commute to Hudson Valley.
When looking back on this season so far, Spohr believed that not only himself, but the team has progressed immensely.
Spohr said that in the beginning of the season, the team took a little while trying to find lines that played well together. The team also suffered a few injuries in the beginning of the season that set them back as well. “It took a little while to get used to each other and get the chemistry together but once we did we started doing pretty well.”
“I definitely started producing late in the year, I was having some trouble in the beginning,” said Spohr. “But once it sparked for me I just kept going from there.”
Spohr said that he started to see himself progress during the first game between Hudson Valley played Siena Club team. He scored three of the four goals in the game, which ended in a 4-2 victory for the Vikings.
With Nationals in just under two weeks, Spohr and the team are planning on playing their hardest to bring home the big win for the Vikings.
“We’re practicing really hard every day,” said Spohr. “We’re making sure we’re ready for anything at Nationals to make sure Erie doesn’t take control of us again,” says Spohr.
Spohr says that before games the team warms up together and after they break off so everyone can do their own preparation. “Everybody warms up differently and everyone has their own routines,” said Spohr.
He also said that a big part of preparation isn’t just the physical warm up, it’s mentally warming up. He believes that the way you go into a game, mentally, can really affect how you play. This was seen later in the season when Hudson Valley had a close call with playing Mohawk Valley after beating them one week prior 91.
“We walked out thinking that game was going to be a walk in the park and it definitely wasn’t,” said Spohr. “We can’t let that happen at Nationals because we won’t be able to recover the way that we did.”
The 2016 Nationals tournament will be held away in Binghamton at Broome on Feb. 27 and 28. Spohr plans on sticking around next year and playing hockey for the Vikings for their last season. “I feel like next year we’re going to have a pretty decent team as well,” said Spohr.
After Hudson Valley, Spohr plans on attending a university to continue his passion for Hockey. “Not to sound corny but I feel like there are no limits on the ice,” said Spohr. “You can just do whatever you want. It’s the best game in the world and I just love every minute of it.”