Onward and upward.
Christina Cleroux has committed to Williams College women’s hockey for the fall of 2014 after three seasons with Middlesex Prep School. The decision on where to play after her Grade 12 year at Middlesex was easy according to Cleroux.
“I was drawn to Williams for a few reasons,” she said. “Firstly, the average class size is 12 students which is the same as Middlesex. Second, there are a few older girls that I played with at Middlesex that are currently there, so I will know a couple people going into the year. Lastly, during my tour and overnight visit, I could easily see myself there as a part of not only the hockey team, but the student body.”
It’s also likely that it was an easy decision for the Williamstown, Mass., college to recruit her to their program as Cleroux had an outstanding season between the pipes for Middlesex.
She won the Massachusetts State Championship and helped the East Coast Wizards club team win bronze at the U.S. national championship in San Jose, Calif.
At the conclusion of the year she was named the New England Prep School Athletic Conference all-star goalie, was the honourable mention goalie by the Independent School League and won Middlesex’s Arnold-Cutler award, which is presented annually to the hockey player that best combines the attributes of talent, enthusiasm, leadership, sportsmanship and diligent effort.
“I was shocked to receive both awards because I felt as though my overall performance was better in my junior year than this past season,” said Cleroux. “Early on I struggled with weird bounces that weren't going my way, but once I found my rhythm my game became much more natural, as it should be.”
Throughout her season she said it was evident that she and the six other seniors on the team had to step up their game to fill the void left by last year’s graduates. Cleroux added that at times it seemed like it was impossible to fill their roles, but that the team stepped up both individually and as a whole.
“My biggest improvement this season was playing the puck outside the goal,” she said. “Since we ran only three or four defenceman throughout each game, it was important for me to do all I could to help.”
The improvement for Cleroux didn’t stop when the hockey season ended. She elected to not play a spring sport at Middlesex in order to work with the school’s conditioning coach. Williams College provided an off-ice conditioning program for her to prepare for September, so she wanted to get a head-start on it.
Over the summer she will allow herself to take a break from academics, while getting on the ice as much as possible to prepare for the hockey season. Academically she will be studying psychology when September comes, but she isn’t certain if that is what she will stick with.
“I have a few years before I must declare a major so I'll try a few different classes to see where I truly belong.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris