4th Line Hockey is here to showcase another NWHL athlete as she prepares for her first professional season.
Celeste Brown is one of the most passionate hockey players I have come across.
As a freshman, she helped RIT win its 3rd National Championship in the 3rd division and earning ECAC West All-Rookie team honors. The following year, RIT was promoted to the 1st division and the new challenges only brought in new opportunity. With Celeste's leadership and intensity, RIT went onto winning The Conference Finals two years in a row.
Entering college, Celeste was not sure how far hockey would take her let alone playing professionally in The States. However, with the emergence of The NWHL, it has brought in opportunity for dozens of new players.
The season is a month away, check out the exclusive interview with Celeste Brown below as she discusses her hockey lifestyle and preparation for her first season in New York
Hello Celeste, let’s kick it off with something simple. Tell us a bit about yourself, where were you born and raised?
Hey! I was born in Great Falls, MT. I lived there from birth until I was 16. At 16 I moved to Lake Placid, NY to attend the National Sports Academy (NSA) and start really pursuing college hockey.
Was hockey always your number 1 sport? If not, what were some other sports you played and how did that help you with your hockey performance?
Hockey was my number one sport. However I played lots of sports when I was younger and they all helped me with hockey. It taught me team skills and just to be athletic. They were fun. I decided probably around 10-12 I didn’t want to play other sports. However, I did play golf through high school!!
What position? What do you prefer most?
I play forward and prefer wing but will go wherever.
When looking at schools, was hockey a priority? Why did you ultimately select RIT?
Hockey was definitely a priority when looking at colleges.
It was important to me to go somewhere that the community would support our team. RIT was the perfect fit for this. I ultimately selected RIT because it had a great hockey program and the academics are fantastic.
Entering college, did your training from high-school/travel to the college level change much? I assume it changed in volume but was there anything you learned to do? Anything specific in memory to your training routine in college?
The hardest transition into college for me was the academics. My boarding school (NSA) was very demanding athletically. So the transition to play at RIT was not very different from NSA from a sporting side, but balancing my academic life with college sport was hard at first.
What was your proudest college hockey moment? Team and individual? You were a 2-time captain at RIT, how was that and how did you evolve as captain from your first year to your second?
My four years at RIT were nothing short of incredible. I had the chance to experience a lot of success with great teams. My class won a National Championship at D3 my freshman year, moved to D1 my sophomore year. Junior year we won our league, and senior year we won it again advancing to the national tournament! Soooo… can I say the whole experience was my favorite, I get a rush of emotion thinking about those four years!
Being a two-year captain was overall a great experience and it was an honor. I had other great captains surrounding me, so that helped substantially. I think there was definitely evolving over the two years but I think you just get a grip on things better, however every year and every team is very different so you always have to evolve.
What was your major/minor in college? You said balancing your life as a student & an athlete was a difficult transition, mind going into detail?
My major was Sociology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies.
I loved it too! The balance was difficult my first year and I was in a major that I didn’t love. I switched my second year and things got way better. Sociology was something I loved learning about, and when you love learning about something it can make doing work easy. Of course there were times when you would have to really buckle down and do your work but that’s college! Some nights were busier then others!
What can you say about the NWHL and what it has offered you?
The NWHL is an amazing gateway for women’s sport. To offer a paid professional women’s ice hockey league is a huge step. It allows young players to aspire to professional sport.
The NWHL has offered me the opportunity to continue to play at a high level and get paid for it. It has also given me the opportunity to grow the game for the younger players coming up.
This summer you signed with New York, how was that whole process of getting signed by The Riveters?
There were tryouts. I went to all of them. One in each city where there is a team. I signed with New York after all camps had been completed. The experience was fun.
Congratulations on the contract, as a local New Yorker here I cannot wait to make it out to the games this season.
What are you most excited for this upcoming season? What do you bring to the table? Is hockey still your No.1 priority?
GO NY!! I am most excited right now to meet everyone. Then moving on, obviously starting to play. I am excited to play with all high level players. I can offer high intensity and I will be having a job on top of playing but hockey is always number one ;)
What is your off-season like, and how is it specifically this summer entering your rookie season as a professional? Any specific programs or trainers you are utilizing?
Off-season training was similar to the past years. An average day is usually a lift then some sort of run, whether it be agility, strength or conditioning. I have a couple specific trainers/programs I use throughout the summer. When I am at RIT, I used their trainer, Bryan Gardner and workout with him. Mid-summer I go to a program called Ocean State Hockey, where there is a daily on-ice program. Toby O’Brien is a scout for the Sabres and runs the program. And then lastly, if I am at home, in MT, I work with a program called RESULTS and trainer Dan Groux. They are all really good and it is nice to have someone to work with wherever I might be that knows me as an athlete.
They all do excellent work!
Entering the season, your training will stay the same or change?
I am sure it will change some, it always does coming into the season. We also will be working with a trainer, and since every trainer is a little different you are always adapting.
How is your game-day routine?
Nothing specific. I usually like to grab a coffee and be early.
Day after a game, recovery day, what is your schedule like? What do you rely on for this recovery?
I definitely like to make sure I have gotten enough sleep. If I have any injuries usually I try to take care of those. I also like to get up and try to do something active, nothing crazy but don’t like to sit around all day.
What is your goal for the upcoming season? Any guarantees?
The Riveters are here to win.
Celeste, thank you very much for the responses. I know our readers are excited for the upcoming NWHL season that starts this October.
Where can we follow you further?
I hope you enjoyed the interview. Stay tuned for other ones throughout the season and recaps of the NWHL. The NY Riveters play in my backyard and I am excited to see its growth. If you liked any of these interviews, please give us a like on Facebook and Retweet it to help support our growth. Thank you!
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