Westminster’s Cesario heading home in 2024 with recent commitment to NCAA D-I Air Force
Joe Cesario spent his youth hockey days with the Hyland Hills Jaguars and Rocky Mountain RoughRiders before starting his junior hockey career this season with the NAHL’s Minnesota Wilderness.
For the 2024-25 season, the Westminster native will be heading home after recently committing to NCAA Division I Air Force (Atlantic Hockey).
“The opportunity came about after my first few games in the NAHL,” Cesario said. “The Air Force Academy scouts saw me play in the NAHL Showcase and reached out to me immediately, which caught my attention. After touring the campus and seeing all the Academy had to offer, not only with their hockey program but also with my college education, I was so impressed.
“I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to commit to such a great program, and feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.”
Cesario said there is a military history in his family as his two grandfathers served in the Army and are now retired.
This season with the Wilderness, Cesario has compiled 13 goals and 23 points in 36 games.
“Really proud of Joe being rewarded for his hard work this season,” said Minnesota head coach Brett Skinner. “Being from Colorado, it really feels like a good fit for both Joe and Air Force and we couldn’t be happier for him.”
Once he arrives in Colorado Springs, Cesario said his intended major is Aerospace Engineering.
“That’s another big reason I chose the Air Force Academy – the amazing Aerospace program.”
In choosing to attend the Air Force Academy, Cesario noted that the decision was the result of the hard work of more than just himself.
“I want to thank my family, friends, teammates, and coaches,” Cesario said. “They have pushed me and made me a better player and person every day.”
— Matt Mackinder
(January 20, 2023)