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Hockey senior forward Chris Spracklen will once again provide an insiders' look at the Army hockey program. A center from Kennewick, Wash., Spracklen will share his insights, introduce teammates, provide a glimpse into life on the road and much more for the second consecutive season, continuing the long tradition of Army hockey diaries. Click here to read Spracklen's biography.
May 18, 2011 Farewell
I never thought the day would come, but graduation is here and it is time for me to say goodbye to the Army Hockey fans as this will be my last blog entry. I hope you have all enjoyed reading the blog entries over the last two years as much as I have enjoyed writing them. If I was able to keep you entertained and you feel that you know a little more about all the guys, then I guess it has been a success. Four years at West Point is filled with ups and downs, but the reward at the end has been worth every minute. The best part about the whole experience has, no doubt, been the guys on the team and the relationships that will last a lifetime. It is unbelievable how close we have become, and I have to thank them all for getting me through the tough times. I believe they would all say the same thing - we looked forward to seeing each other every day, playing the sport we love, and doing it along side our best friends. For the seniors, it will be the first time in about 20 years that we won't be lacing up the skates for another season.
Goodbyes have never been my strong suit, especially on such a public forum, so I have been struggling a bit on how to end it all. I apologize for not having as many entries this season as I should have, but I thoroughly enjoyed getting the last word in at my teammates' expense when I could. Although the next "blogger" has not been named yet, I'm sure I will get the beating I probably deserve from them when the time comes. For now, I suppose I will let you know what the seniors have planned for the short term and where they will be headed off to next. Cody Omilusik
- Omi is the first we will have to say "goodbye" to as he is taking the plunge into marriage the week after graduation. If I haven't made enough jokes about it in the past, he is marrying Drew Pierson's
sister, Hannah. They have been kind enough to have an open bar at the wedding, which will be both awesome and terrible the following day. Omi branched Aviation and will be headed to Ft. Rutger, Alabama, at the end of the summer for flight school. In his spare time, he will be learning how to garden, clean the house, put the seat down, and all the other bachelor habits he has to get rid of. Drew Pierson
- Piers has the honor of being best man in Omi's wedding. I'm not sure if this is the first time a guy has ever been the best man is his sister's wedding, but it is certainly worth a chuckle. However, Piers, if you want any advice on what NOT to say in your speech, I'm the man to ask ... people get real critical apparently. Drew branched Field Artillery and will head to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, for his officer basic course before returning to West Point as the Athletic Intern second semester. Never one to miss a party, Drew will be touring the country in search of the wildest scenes - most likely highlighted with the NHL awards in Vegas. He might even be receiving an award, I'm not sure. Joey Ammon
- Ammon can most likely be found at the bar during Omi's wedding, so if you need to get a hold of him I would check there first. Joey branched Air Defense Artillery and will be headed to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, for his officer basic course before going to Ft. Bliss, Texas, for his post assignment. His summer plans are to spend a couple weeks in Hawaii followed by reading many novels on how to become a Colonel like his dad. I'll miss Joey's laugh in the locker room and will always admire his flawless technique in giving the rooks a hard time ... classic. Jay Clark
- Jay will be the second member of the Army Hockey Class of 2011 that we bid farewell to as he is always taking the plunge into wedlock mid-summer. Jay will undoubtedly go on to do great things and probably solve some complex problem that is way out of my league. Jay branched Military Intelligence and his first duty station will be in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. His summer plans are to road trip across much of the U.S. with his wife and introduce her to the great state of Minnesota. There, he plans on fishing, spending time on Lake of the Woods, Minnesota, and avoiding mosquitoes. Pat Copeland
- Copes is starting his summer off by heading back to God's country in the Pacific Northwest (Washington has a slight edge on Oregon, but nevertheless it is still a great state). Many of you may not know, but Pat and I grew up playing hockey against each other. Copes branched Infantry, and his first duty station will be in Ft. Benning, Georgia. He plans to pick up his newly purchased truck at home in Oregon where he will pack up and spend a couple weeks traveling across the country and doing some sightseeing action. I'm praying for a drastic drop in gas prices for ya big guy!
As for me, after graduation I will be attending the open bar at Omi's wedding before heading home to the great state of Washington. I plan on spending my time with family and friends at our cabin with a pole in the water. Other than that, I will probably be woken up at the crack of dawn by my sister (she is nine) and spend most of the time relaxing, golfing, on the river, and taking over my duties as head groundskeeper at the Spracklen residence - I keep that lawn looking like a putting green, I'll tell ya that for free. I also branched Field Artillery and will return to West Point as the Athletic Intern for the first semester before heading off to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma for my officer basic course. My first post will be determined this fall, but the frontrunner is Ft. Carson, Colorado, as of now.
Lastly, I would like to pay tribute to the loss of one of our own. A few days ago, we lost Robby Ross, Army Hockey forward, class of 2008. Rob, aka "Sauce," was a great friend, teammate, storyteller, and comedian. He was, without a doubt, one of the funniest guys I have ever met and he will be greatly missed by all of us.
Folks, thanks for reading my final blog entry. It has been a pleasure and I will look forward to seeing you all next season!