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Thread: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

  1. #621
    RIP WaP Ralph Baer's Avatar
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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    Today is 28 April 2018. There are 161 days (23 weeks) until RPI's next game.


    This is based upon 6 October 2018 for the start of next season.

  2. #622
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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    This is "tomorrow," right? It's A tomorrow at least. Anyway, here are the last of my many hockey banquet reports - the senior speeches. I'm going to divide it into three posts, one for each senior, because (surprise) I've made them awfully long.

    This is always my favorite part of the hockey banquet - when we hear from the boys themselves. With only three seniors this year (Evan Tironese is graduating as well but was not at the banquet), this portion of the festivities was naturally somewhat shorter than usual, but no less heartfelt and touching. I'm going to divide it into a post for each senior because their remarks deserve lots of space.

    Normally at this point I would suggest you guess who the most emotional speech-maker was this year, but with two of the seniors absent it wouldn't be much of a challenge. Brady Wiffen was not likely to choke up reading Viktor Liljegren's speech, nor was Tommy Grant likely to lose it reading Jared's. Mike Prapavessis made up for it though - he struggled enough getting through his speech for all three guys!

    There were quite a few similarities among the speeches. All three seniors thanked virtually everyone they could think of associated with the team and program in any way, includng RPI President Shirley Jackson and Athletic Director Lee McElroy. And, unsurprisingly, all three thanked Seth Appert and his staff for giving them the opportunity to play at RPI.

    Viktor's speech was first, read as mentioned by Brady Wiffen. His speech was a bit brief since, he said, he had played a double overtime ECHL game the night before the banquet and wrote the speech afterward. He said it was around this time four years ago that he decided to spend his next four years as an Engineer, a decision he is proud of. He said he's learned more than he thought possible and met many great people who supported him and helped him during his time at RPI.

    He thanked everyone he could think of and extended a big thank you to all his teammates from the last four years, saying, "I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys and know I've made friendships that will last forever." And to his classmates he said, "We created a lot of memories and I wouldn't trade any of them for the world. I wouldn't have survived college without you guys and I'm very grateful to have friends like you."

    More coming.
    Charlene

  3. #623
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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    More hockey banquet thoughts.

    Jared's speech was next, read by Tommy Green and so well-written that MC Al Shibley suggested that if hockey doesn't work out, Jared could have a career as a writer! Jared said it was "the opportunity of a lifetime to play D1 hockey at such a prestigious institution," and that he had learned lessons, on and off the ice, that have helped shaped him into the man he is today.

    Jared's thank-yous were lengthy and well-thought-out, giving details on each person's contribution. Of Coach Dave Smith he said, "Thank you for believing in the three seniors. It would have been easy to write us off as part of the old regime, but you didn't - far from it." He also said of Smith, "Your approach to people and leadership taught me skills that will help me throughout my career on and off the ice."

    Of Nolan Graham, Jared said, "Being an alum, you know how special this place is and you helped me make my experience here very special."

    Jared thanked his parents for their unwavering support and sacrifices and then went on to give a special thanks to the RPI-TV crew who "allowed my family to feel as though they were at Houston Field House from 2500 miles away" and whose "commitment to producing the best online feed in college hockey allowed me to feel as if my parents were in the building every week." Nice to hear - RPI-TV really does do a great job!

    And to "the best fans in college hockey," Jared said, "Thank you for your unwavering support that made every night at Houston Field House one to remember." He said he will "forever carry the disappointment of not being able to bring an ECAC championship back to Troy" but is confident his class left the program better than they found it and that there will be "many championships to come under Coach Smith's leadership."

    Jared thanked his teammates, his former classmates Lou Nanne, Drew Melanson and Bradley Bell, and of course his two fellow seniors, saying "You two have been tied to my life in so many ways that it's tough to put it into words" - but then he did put it into words, and very well!

    He spoke again of his disappointment in the results of the last four years and concluded with "I measure my success here not in wins, losses, goals and assists, but in how I developed on and off the ice and the friendships I've gained. I'm proud to leave RPI with a degree in hand that will give me the freedom to chase my dream as a pro hockey player knowing I have an education in my back pocket from one of the best schools in the nation that will set me up for the rest of my life." That boy can write!
    Charlene

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    And one more report - on Mike Prapavessis's speech

    Mike was the only senior present to read his own speech and he started by thanking us all for coming to the senior banquet - "my banquet, for me and only me!" Mike too thanked everyone in detail, including his family, his coaches, his teammates and his classmates.

    He got a bit emotional when he said seriously, "People can criticize, can have their own opinions on the RPI hockey program, but no one knows what's going on inside the program except the people in the program. I'm one of those people and I know where RPI hockey is going and I know it's going in the right direction under the leadership of Coach Smith."

    And then he said the next part was the hard part! I'm going to quote this part of Mike's speech directly because it was heartfelt and clearly emotional for him.

    "I've had a lot of time to reflect on my time here. I always said no regrets, but I have regrets. I regret not winning more here, not winning more Mayor's Cups, not winning an ECAC championship, not winning the Frozen Four. But I don't regret the effort and commitment I've given to the program. I've put my literal blood, sweat and tears into the RPI jersey and I know when I look into the eyes of my classmates and teammates, especially Vik and Jared, I know they've done the same. And that's what comforts me. We didn't have a lot to show for it but they gave everything they had."

    "The results this year were not what we were hoping for and not necessarily something we're proud of, but we don't regret our commitment and I hope that moving forward, when RPI is back in the finals the way it should be, I hope that team will play with the same commitment that we brought every day. I hope that some part of us will live on in that team."

    I've said this many times before, but it bears repeating: no matter what you think of the coaching, the administration, or even the talent level of the players in this program, it's just not possible to know these boys at all, to watch them play and watch their faces after a game, and not believe that they are giving their all, and that they want to win just as much as we want them to win. I don't care what the win-loss record is - these boys make me proud to be an RPI fan.
    Charlene

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    CM-J and I may not be posting all that much but we read most that gets up on the board eventually. Stay around and keep coming back as you have a way of putting it all into perspective. Over the many years we have followed this program we have had the pleasure of meeting and knowing some great boys and some truly wonderful families. We still follow along with you faithfully and hope we can be here for the time when the program starts to blossom again. We still have some of the best and most devoted fans any where. And as they used to say in Brooklyn when i was a kid about the Dodger, "wait until next year!"
    Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    Quote Originally Posted by DrDemento View Post
    CM-J and I may not be posting all that much but we read most that gets up on the board eventually. Stay around and keep coming back as you have a way of putting it all into perspective. Over the many years we have followed this program we have had the pleasure of meeting and knowing some great boys and some truly wonderful families. We still follow along with you faithfully and hope we can be here for the time when the program starts to blossom again. We still have some of the best and most devoted fans any where. And as they used to say in Brooklyn when i was a kid about the Dodger, "wait until next year!"
    Thanks, Dr. D. I know you and Jenny have been RPI fans for a long time, through thick and thin, and your words mean a lot to me.

    Lest anyone misunderstand, I have no problem with criticism of the coaching or the administration, or even of the talent level on the team or their performance on any given night. That all seems reasonable to me for a fan forum, and we can't deny the team has thrown up some real stinkers from time to time. I'm just saying that I know how much it means to these kids (and really, they are still kids) to play for RPI. If you listen to their speeches, talk to them or even just watch their faces after games, it's easy to see how badly they want to give the fans what they want; to see how truly disappointed they are that they weren't able - they think - to make us proud. But as far as I'm concerned, they do.
    Charlene

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    Today is 29 April 2018. There are 160 days until RPI's next game.


    This is based upon 6 October 2018 for the start of next season.
    Last edited by Ralph Baer; 04-29-2018 at 01:26 PM.

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    One of these days, Ralph will remember to take out the end quote.
    It was an honor to present your colors, RPI. Let's Go 'TUTE!
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlagDUDE08 View Post
    One of these days, Ralph will remember to take out the end quote.
    Apperts special teams may cost them gold

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    Quote Originally Posted by FlagDUDE08 View Post
    One of these days, Ralph will remember to take out the end quote.
    At least I got the date and number of days left (assuming the season does start on 10/6) correct this time.

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    Quote Originally Posted by rvd5star69 View Post
    Apperts special teams may cost them gold
    Is there a connection between the post you quoted and your response?

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    I suspect that DrD and Waite also remember Bob Baron.

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    Quote Originally Posted by rvd5star69 View Post
    Apperts special teams may cost them gold
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Baer View Post
    Is there a connection between the post you quoted and your response?
    Don’t know if there’s a connection but Finland defeated the US for the Gold 3-2. Fin. scored 2 PP & the GWG was a SHG..... http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/500/gameaction_7485.html
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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    Quote Originally Posted by turk181 View Post
    Don’t know if there’s a connection but Finland defeated the US for the Gold 3-2. Fin. scored 2 PP & the GWG was a SHG..... http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/500/gameaction_7485.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Baer View Post
    Is there a connection between the post you quoted and your response?

    There never is with his posts.

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Baer View Post
    I suspect that DrD and Waite also remember Bob Baron.
    RB: i was already gone from RPI a couple of years before he even entered (I think) and I really did not follow the football team for a few years after leaving for medical School. In fact, once our long losing streak ended (first with a tie against Nichols College) and then our winless streak ended (with that fabulous upset of Middlebury College), I did not keep track again until many years later.
    Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    I know Bob Baron quite well. He used to play QB on one of our local semi-pro football teams for about 10 years. Very talented player.
    Best of luck to him (and his horse!) in the Derby.

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    I do remember Bob Baron playing quarterback for RPI.

    The Times-Union article indicates he graduated in 1972, so he would have been a sophomore when I was a senior. I could have seen him playing for the freshman team in 1968 and the varsity in 1969.

    If that's correct, he probably participated in the game against Trinity in 1969 which earned RPI's football team a rare mention in Sports Illustrated. The game ended in a 43-43 tie, and SI dubbed it the "defensive game of the week."

    I also recall, after seeing the picture, that eligible pass receivers (including quarterbacks) on RPI's teams in that era wore red helmets, while the rest of the team wore white ones.

    I hope Baron's horse runs well.

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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    Today is 30 April 2018. There are 159 days until RPI's next game.


    This is based upon 6 October 2018 for the start of next season.

  20. #640
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    Re: RPI 2018 Off-Season: The Hunt for Red October

    Quote Originally Posted by cmmarkham View Post

    I've said this many times before, but it bears repeating: no matter what you think of the coaching, the administration, or even the talent level of the players in this program, it's just not possible to know these boys at all, to watch them play and watch their faces after a game, and not believe that they are giving their all, and that they want to win just as much as we want them to win. I don't care what the win-loss record is - these boys make me proud to be an RPI fan.
    Amen to that. The boys give their all and are a credit to RPI.
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