Walking onto a varsity team as a freshman is never an easy thing to do. Trying to do it at a different school with very few classmates offering support makes it even more difficult. But looking back Jack DiMarzo is glad he stepped on the ice and took the chance.
“When I joined (the Father Gabriel Richard-Greenhills hockey team) as a freshman I felt a bit intimidated by high school hockey, especially since I was one of only a few Greenhills players on the team at that point,” said DiMarzo of his rookie season three years ago. “However, as I got older I became more comfortable and felt like I played a bigger role in winning games.”
Now in his senior year, the talented defenseman is not only helping win games but also helping in leading the way. From nervous freshman to senior captain – now that’s impressive.
“As a senior and a captain, I feel like I have a lot of responsibility for not only the morale in the locker room, but the result on the scoreboard, which has been both a challenge and an opportunity,” he says.
The FGR-Greenhills team, under the very capable guidance of coach Clint Robert, is skating along nicely this season. One of the highlights this season was winning the Dan Jilek Ann Arbor Cup as the best team in the city.
“After losing in the championship game last year, we knew we wanted to come back next season and reclaim the trophy as seniors,” DiMarzo says. “It’s been the biggest highlight for us so far this season.”
But there are plenty of goals still out there for the Irish.
“My biggest goal for this season is to go deep in the playoffs and have fun doing it,” says DiMarzo, who has 21 points on the season (6 goals and 15 assists). “I don’t want to have any regrets at the end of my high school hockey career.”
The captain says there is enough talent to ride deep into the postseason.
“Our new head coach, Clint Robert, has more than enough experience leading high school hockey teams,” he said. “I believe if everyone buys into his vision, we are capable of doing big things this season.
“We have a lot of experienced seniors who are dedicated to playing the game as a team and not as a bunch of individuals. We also have a lot of young, talented guys who have bought into the culture of the program. There have been some highs and lows, as with any year, but overall we are winning games and having fun.”
Jack, the son of Paul and Audrey DiMarzo, has been having fun playing hockey ever since he first slipped on a pair of skates when he was 7 years old.
“I liked how fast the game is and how close I became with my teammates,” he said of his early days in hockey. “It wasn’t until high school that I started to take hockey seriously since I began to realize that I wouldn’t have many years left as a player.”
DiMarzo, who played AA travel hockey with the Ann Arbor Wolves from around second to eighth grade, will more than likely hang up the skates after high school. He currently has a 3.9 grade-point average and also is a member of the Greenhills Student Council, Model UN and plays lacrosse.
“I plan to attend college, although I haven’t decided on a school yet,” said
But first there are goals to be met – both on and off the ice.