By Sarah Carlson, Staff Writer
The ACU Roller Hockey team is selling T-shirts to raise money to pay for its approximately $4,000 league fees.
The shirts come in either white or gray for $10 a piece, and Caleb Dickison, freshman exercise science major from St. Louis and team rookie, said the team “will sell them as long as they have them.”
The only money the team receives from ACU is $950 from the Students’ Association, said Joel Germain, junior marketing major from Trenton, Mich., and captain of the team.
The team has additional costs like equipment and travel, which includes gas, food and hotels, all of which comes out of the player’s own pockets, Germain said.
Germain said the team has asked the university for sponsorship and financial support but has not received any.
“The school doesn’t really recognize us as a sport, compared to football, etc.,” said Chris Maddox, freshman marketing major from Fort Worth and team rookie.
Germain said the team will get the money wherever they can.
“It sounds like we’re bashing the school, but it’s really not about that,” Germain said. “We all want to play, and we all have a heart for it, so we’ll do whatever it takes, regardless of recognition from the school.”
The team has finished first or second place in both the regular and post seasons the past four years since its formation, and it is currently ranked fourth in Division II of the Southwest Collegiate Hockey League with a 10-3 record.
Seven games remain in the regular season, which ends in March.
The team plays in either Denton or Houston because Abilene does not have an official skating rink. It practices at a small rink at Cal Young Park, but Dickison said it is poor quality and another team would not want to play a game there.
Maddox said not playing in Abilene makes it hard to gain a fan base among students.
“I think if they knew more about it, they would be willing to come travel to Denton to watch us play,” Maddox said.
The team does not have a coach, and Germain said he mainly takes the job and tries to split up responsibilities among the team members.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that if we had a coach, sponsorship and support, we would be No. 1 in the nation every year,” Germain said.
All three said they grew up playing hockey and have a passion for the sport.
“It’s a lot of fun; I love playing hockey, and we’re really good,” Dickison said. “But nobody knows who we are.”
Germain said they just enjoy playing the sport.
“We do it for each other, and we do it for ourselves to make ourselves better,” he said. “That’s what makes us so good.”