Arizona Rubber

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Taos product McNerney continuing career in Canada’s GMHL

 

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Ah, the positive powers of the Internet.

Taos native Jake McNerney graduated this past spring from Taos High School with two state championships to his credit. Knowing he wanted to keep playing past his high school years, McNerney created a profile on the National Collegiate Scouting Association Athletic (NCSA) recruiting website and posted videos of himself skating, as well as information of teams he’d played with over the years.

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“A few months later, Brian Foster from the Almaguin Spartans (of the Greater Metro Hockey League in Canada) contacted me about the team and league,” said McNerney. “A month later, I was on my way to Ontario.”

Later traded to the GMHL’s Seguin Huskies, McNerney is enjoying his first season of junior hockey, even though he gets the same inquiries seemingly on a daily basis.

“A lot of people question hockey in New Mexico,” McNerney said. “The sport surely isn’t big where I come from, but there are some great teams and players that come from New Mexico.”

As a youth, McNerney began playing hockey at the age of six when he started with the Taos Coyotes, where he played from Mini-Mites to Pee Wees at the Taos Youth and Family Center. For his Bantam years, he skated with the Rio Rancho Scorpions A and AA teams at Blades Arena (now McDermott Athletic Center).

“That was the highest level of hockey and closest that I could have played,” McNerney said. “It was very tough because I had to travel two hours and 30 minutes just to attend practices. We traveled to California, Texas, Colorado, Las Vegas, Arizona and Oklahoma.”

Moving forward, McNerney has realistic goals and aspirations set for himself.

“I just want to become a better version of myself,” said McNerney. “I have lots of love for the sport and take it very seriously when it comes to training on and off the ice to improve myself every day. Overall, I just want to keep having fun with it and see where it takes me in life.”

— Matt Mackinder