Thursday, December 16, 2010


This article ran in yesterday's Perkiomen Valley Patch....

Two Perkiomen natives thriving on the ice at Brockport
James Cody, Matt DeLuca, hope to be part of Golden Eagles' turnaround

Matt DeLuca and James Cody took different paths to get to Brockport. The Perkiomen Valley graduates are now enjoying success on the ice for the Golden Eagles hockey team.

DeLuca is a freshman who has been steady on the blue line in his first year as a defenseman. Cody is a junior who is leading the team in scoring. Both have been bright spots for a Brockport team going through a rebuilding season this winter.

DeLuca has played in all 13 games for the Golden Eagles this season. So far, he has had little trouble adjusting to both college hockey and college life.

"It's been a little easier than I thought," said DeLuca. "I'm getting all A's and B's and working hard at practice. When you play hockey for so long, it just becomes natural wherever you play."

It all began for DeLuca with the Valley Forge Minutemen and the Philadelphia Junior Flyers. He spent time on the ice at Perkiomen Valley and eventually moved onto the Syracuse Stars of the Eastern Junior Hockey League.

"I was able to talk to the coaches at Brockport the first few weekends at Syracuse," DeLuca said. "I was fortunate enough that they liked the way they played and here I am."

The Golden Eagles picked up only one win in 13 games, but DeLuca is no stranger to being part of a program in need of a turnaround. He was part of one at Perkiomen Valley.

"I look back and think I'd give anything to have one more Friday night of hockey there," said DeLuca. "If you look at the hockey history at Perkiomen Valley, it was not good at all. Fortunately, our class came in and really helped turn that program around."

Cody is doing his part on the offensive end for the Golden Eagles. Through 13 games, Cody has eight goals and nine assists. While Cody is also a Perkiomen graduate, he didn't suit up for his high school team. He chose to travel to Pennsauken and play for a highly respected junior team.

"I went right to juniors," Cody said. "I was playing for the Philadelphia Little Flyers, so I never played high school hockey."

The Little Flyers play in the highly respected Atlantic Junior Hockey League that features 12 teams from Washington to Maine. Cody believes his experience with the Little Flyers prepared him for the intensity level of college hockey.

"It made me a much better player in general," said Cody. "The coaches there really helped me."

Cody is hoping to be part of the turnaround at Brockport. He has emerged as the team's top forward and is confident his success will continue as the season progresses.

"I've been trying my hardest on the ice and the goals have been coming for me," Cody said. "We haven't been doing as well in the early going. I've just been trying to step my game up and get us going. Hopefully, things are going to turn around for us."

If all goes well at Brockport and the hockey team does turn its fortunes around, it will have two Perkiomen Valley graduates to thank as the season progresses.