When looking at a prospective NCAA student athlete, coaches and scouts are looking for student first and athlete second. It does a coach or scout no good to find a talented athlete that cant make the cut academically.
1996 Honeybaked Midget Major Forward, and former Victory Honda player, Joe Sofo is the definition of student athlete.
The Toledo Ohio native has been attending St. Johns Jesuit High School, achieving marks in the class room that have allowed him to already be accepted at several NCAA Division One programs for his academics. On the ice he has received the marks to allow the Port Huron Fighting Falcons to sign him to a tender for the 2014-2015 season.
“We saw Joe at the Pre Draft Combine last year. He came to camp and actually made our team this year, but after talking with his adviser we all agreed he could get the most development time out of playing in the Honeybaked program this season.” Said Port Huron Head Coach Michael Gershon “He has over come some adversity this season and has put together a real nice year.”
The adversity Coach Gershon refers to is a broken femur suffered three games into Honeybaked’s regular season. Off the ice until the end of November, Sofo returned more determined than ever. Easing him back into the lineup and being cautious with how hard the team pushed him Sofo has definitely come back to form as Honeybaked prepares for the State of Michigan playoffs.
“We have kept an eye on him all season, and he has really surprised us with how well and how quickly he has recovered from the injury.” Said Nick Shackford Port Huron Director of Player Personnel. “He is now back to where he was before the injury, and we are excited to see how much further he can go. He’s got a non stop motor, he’s skilled, and he plays very physical.”
Since returning from injury Sofo has amassed 12 goals and 16 assists on a team where every player is fighting for ice time and depth of scoring is certainly not an issue. With several NCAA, OHL, and NHL prospects, Sofo is proving he fits in with all of them.
“I went up to skate with the team last week, and really felt welcome. The guys were great and made me feel like I fit right in.” Said Sofo “Coach Gershon has been great to me. He’s kept in contact with me through my adviser all season, and when he offered the tender I didn’t even have to think about it. I am going to continue to work hard, get better and be ready for next season.”
The first place Fighting Falcons are not resting on this seasons success. The whole organization is working toward setting a higher bar for the 2014-2015 season.