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High school senior becomes newest Brockport athlete

by Panagiotis Argitis - Managing Editor
Fri, Nov 9th 2018 01:00 pm
Rowan Grady, a senior at Brockport High School, became the newest and youngest defenseman on The College at Brockport women's club hockey team.
Rowan Grady, a senior at Brockport High School, became the newest and youngest defenseman on The College at Brockport women's club hockey team.

Getting pulled up to play for the varsity team is a special moment in any high school athlete’s career, but what comes next? For most, nothing, as varsity is the highest possible degree of competition. That’s not the case for 17-year-old Brockport High School senior, Rowan Grady. 

Born and raised in Brockport, NY, to a family of hockey players and enthusiasts, Grady picked up the stick at a very young age. Her career began at the age of four, playing for the Tri-County Golden Eagles at The College at Brockport’s ice arena, a place which she would revisit in the future. 

The girl who hit the ice and struck pucks not too long after she learned how to speak, never quit. 

By the age of 14, Grady was playing for the same organization, just on the boys team. Due to the depleting numbers of athletes on the team, the Tri-County Golden Eagles disbanded and Grady’s time with the team ended after 10 years of involvement. 

She further developed her hockey skills with a year of play at Batavia and two years with the Rochester Edge girl’s organization. The next step in Grady’s career would be hosted at The College at Brockport Ice Arena, but it wasn’t for a hockey exhibition or tournament. Instead, it was for making the Brockport Club Hockey team.  

The idea that college club sports teams are for athletes attending the college is the norm among organizations. Despite this, Grady has met the standard for a rare exception to the rules by having enrolled in a program that allows for high school students to participate in college activities through higher education credits. 

Brockport High School offers 3-1-3, a program designed for students who may want to kickstart their college careers. Programs like the 3-1-3 are provided by many different high schools with varying regulations and processes. The main focus is to earn college credit prior to enrollment. 

Although similar across school districts, the 3-1-3 is unique due to its ability of expanding past the classroom. Grady was aware of her options and chose to join the program as it was responsible for her sister’s early success as a hockey player. 

“I followed in my sister’s footsteps,” Grady wrote in an email. “I knew I was eligible to play for the club team prior to joining 3-1-3 and was prepared for what was to come.”

The start of her college career took place this September through 3-1-3, as she began to take classes at The College at Brockport.The program introduced Grady to her first college experience but also to her new hockey team, which she had wanted to be a part of since the end of her stint with the Rochester Edge girls team. 

“Before I knew it, my aspirations were a reality,” Grady wrote. “I talked to the club team’s president, Kaylee Pilon, which I had worked with before and she was looking for more players.” 

Following try-outs for the team, Grady received USA Hockey certification and was officially part of the Brockport women’s club hockey team. 

The 3-1-3 program also allowed her to grow academically, athletically and mentally. With collegiate level classes and sports experience under her belt, Grady believes that the transition into college should go a lot smoother. 

“Balancing college classes, high school and playing for a college team has taught me a lot,” she wrote. “Despite the shift from high school to college, I am thankful for this opportunity.” 

From an average high school athlete schedule to 8 a.m. college courses and late night practices with teammates four or five years older, Grady never hesitated to score at the chance she was given. 

“I am back to playing the sport that I love for the town that I love, even if it means being the baby of it all.”