Serratore family ties bind tight on, off the ice at Air Force
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If the Air Force Academy hockey team has a certain feel of family around it, it’s because there are some family ties involved.
Every time freshman forward Matt Serratore takes the ice, he’s being watched by his coach and uncle in Frank Serratore.
Last season at some point on the recruiting trail, Frank had to look no further than his brother’s family. Matt’s father, Tom, is the head coach at Bemidji State University, but when deciding where to play his NCAA Division I college hockey, the combination of serving his country and playing for his uncle was too good to pass up for the younger Serratore.
“The opportunity that the school can give you is something that’s pretty special,” Matt said. “It’s something that I wanted to take advantage of.”
Matt made his debut for the Falcons in October and despite his status as a freshman, he started making an impact right away. When the Falcons were trailing the University of Denver 3-2 back on Oct. 9, Matt hit the ice and assisted on a Kyle Haak goal that tied the game.
The Falcons went on to beat the Pioneers 5-4 in overtime, making it a memorable regular-season debut for the Serratore family.
“I guess I hadn’t thought about it that much,” Matt said. “I was just happy I was able to contribute in some way for that win. It was a pretty good win for us to start the year.”
For the next four seasons, uncle and nephew will work closely together and toward the same goal – consistent success for the Falcons.
But in order for that to be the case, they both understand that the relationship needs to act more as player-coach rather than uncle-nephew.
“He treats me just like he does anyone else,” Matt said. “I think he wants to win just as badly as anyone and he holds me accountable just like anyone else. He coaches me like any other player.”
— Dan Mohrmann