Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The Greece Messenger Post is reporting the following about a 1997 Brockport grad who was a defenseman for the Golden Eagles...

Rob Howell has certainly put his time in on the sidelines for local hockey teams. The former Greece, Jr. Monarchs and SUNY Brockport player has been an assistant at Geneseo High School (one year), the Greece Lightning (six years) and at Aquinas Institute (three years).

Now the Greece Olympia graduate is getting his shot.

Howell is the new coach for the Greece Lightning, replacing Chuck Dosier as the leader of the combined Arcadia/Olympia team.

“I have always wanted to be a head coach and this opportunity was great for me because of the tradition I have with the program as a player and coach,” he said.

Howell said he is currently in a feeling-out mode with the team as he was hired shortly before the season started. He didn’t have much time with the club before the first game so both parties have been getting to know each other daily.

He spoke with current assistant A.J. Maio and had the players fill out a questionnaire with goals and expectations for the upcoming season as a way to help acclimate himself with the team that went 17-3-2 last year and won the league title.

But most of that team has moved on as several players, including All Greater Rochester goalie Josh Opladen have graduated. The team also lost four underclassmen to Jr. hockey programs.

“We have a lot of returners but most of them are in new and expanded roles,” Howell said. “We lost a lot of offense and a top goaltender so we are feeling guys out and trying to get everyone in place.”

Howell, who also coaches football at Greece Olympia, will lean on guys like Shayne McGowan, Brad Reed and Kevin Forney to lead the offense but admits it has to be a team effort when it comes to scoring goals.

He has also been very happy with the play of goalie Chris Higgins who begins the year as a starter for the first time on varsity.

Howell said his team, which brings back seven seniors with experience, will be a hardworking one.

“One of the main things that I will stress is hard work,” Howell said. “We took a few shifts off in our early games and that is corrected real quick. We have to work for everything we have but I think we have a dedicated group of guys who want to be successful.”

The Lightning started the season off 1-3 as they beat Bishop Kearney/Eastridge but lost to the Greece Thunder, Brockport and Irondequoit.

“This is a team that has to take things one game at a time,” he said. “We just want to get better each time we take the ice. I could see things start to improve and come together in the Thunder game. That is what we are going to be looking for early on - improvement."

The Lightning will be in action again on Saturday at 3 p.m. against Hilton at Lakeshore.