Athlete Spotlight: Wahconah Ice Hockey's Connor Champoux
Connor Champoux, a student at Taconic High School is pretty busy as a captain of the Wahconah, Taconic, and Pittsfield hockey team. He found some free time and stopped by the office this week to talk about his goals for working with such a young team on the ice, his golf game, a go-to Wiffle Ball stance and what legacy he hopes to leave behind with the co-op hockey program.
BERKSHIRE EAGLE: When you're scrolling through your phone listening to music, what is one song that always makes you think of hockey?
CONNOR CHAMPOUX: "Shipping up to Boston" because it is Boston's theme song. I played for the [Berkshire] Bruins growing up, and we always used that. That's the one song that always makes everyone think of hockey.
EAGLE: What's the biggest game you have ever played in?
CHAMPOUX: Probably when we made it to Western Mass. my sophomore year. That was huge.
EAGLE: What is the hardest preseason workout you have done?
CHAMPOUX: The first week of captains practice is always intense. I feel like we ramped it up this year. This year we all brought more intensity.
EAGLE: What does it mean to be a senior captain after playing hockey for so long?
CHAMPOUX: You just feel like you have to be the bridge between the coaches and the players. We want to make sure everyone stays in line and represents the team and the school the right way. Also to be the vocal leader in the locker room if you have to be and just lead by example.
EAGLE: Who were some captains you had that you learned from?
CHAMPOUX: Brandon Peaslee and Kevin Quinto when I was growing up. When I was a freshmen and a sophomore they really stood out because they were polar opposites, but really loved the team. You have to have the intensity and work ethic that those two had to make it to the Western Mass. tournament.
EAGLE: Last week you said Wahconah Hockey is 10 times better than we were a month ago, where does that confidence stem from and what clicked for you guys to say that?
CHAMPOUX: Getting that first win against Southwick helped us realize that we can win games. We are actually a lot more competitive than we were at times earlier this season. Everyday we bring more and more intensity to help build off our recent success.
EAGLE: Is there anything you have learned over the last two years since that Western Mass. tournament appearance that you weren't really expecting?
CHAMPOUX: You learn that you have to work that much harder to keep winning games. Nothing is given. There are going to be good games and bad games and you have to bring your all to all of them. After missing most of last season with an injury I picked up on some different ways to help just by watching the games.
EAGLE: How great did it feel to be back on the ice this year?
CHAMPOUX: It felt great. To be back competing and skating on the ice is a great feeling.
EAGLE: When was the first time you stepped on the ice?
CHAMPOUX: I don't know. Hockey has always been a part of my life since I was really little. My dad introduced me to it when I was young. He and all my uncles used to play hockey so I was basically born into it.
EAGLE: Has it been the same way with your golf career?
CHAMPOUX: Same exact way. Basically just watching my dad when I was little. I just wanted to be like my dad. I played a bunch of different sports growing up but golf has really stuck with me through the years.
EAGLE: You've done hockey and golf for a while now, what is one sport you love that you don't play?
CHAMPOUX: Probably baseball. I used to play it, but stopped once I got to high school. I just love watching it and playing it. I love watching the Red Sox and great baseball.
EAGLE: When you were playing Wiffle Ball growing up, whose swing did you try to copy?
CHAMPOUX: It was either Kevin Youkilis or Big Papi (David Ortiz)
EAGLE: Where do you want the hockey team to be after you complete your senior year as a captain on the team?
CHAMPOUX: Hopefully we can see a few more wins to help build this group up going into next year. Hopefully they have a much easier ride knowing the level of intensity they have to bring. Having only four seniors means they will have plenty of skaters returning. Hopefully this year they found out how it feels to lose and what it takes to win.
EAGLE: You're wearing your Braves Hockey jacket from your sophomore season, would you ever wear one of the new Wahconah jackets to Taconic?
CHAMPOUX: On game days I normally wear a blue tie or sweatshirt, but I don't know if I'd ever buy something with the Wahconah logo on it. At school I think they would understand, but people would still have to give me a hard time.
EAGLE: What is your plan after high school?
CHAMPOUX: I am currently looking at a few schools where I can play golf in college.
EAGLE: What do you do to stay focused in such a long event like a golf tournament?
CHAMPOUX: It is always great to just talk with my playing partner and go shot-by-shot. Sometimes I will fiddle around with a rubber band or a golf ball to help me stay focused.
EAGLE: Favorite hockey movie?
CHAMPOUX: "Miracle," just because it is such a great story.
EAGLE: Favorite golf movie?
CHAMPOUX: "Happy Gilmore" or "Tin Cup."
EAGLE: All-time sports movie?
CHAMPOUX: "Remember the Titans," because it always gets me hyped up.
EAGLE: When you think of your four years at Taconic, what sticks with you outside of sports?
CHAMPOUX: Seeing the destruction of the old school and being there for the birth of the new school. It really stands out as something cool to be a part of.
EAGLE: As a defenseman, what is going to be your celebration when you connect on your first goal?
CHAMPOUX: Jumping into the glass always seemed pretty cool and looks like something I would try.
EAGLE: It's a bad day outside, what is one show you're going to binge watch?
CHAMPOUX: I could always binge "The Office" because it is so funny. I don't know why there is just something about it.
EAGLE: We will end on this one, give me your top four characters from the office
CHAMPOUX: Michael Scott, Jim, Creed Bratton and probably Kevin.
This interview was conducted, edited and condensed by Jake Mendel.
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