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The Gateway trio will play in an international ball hockey tournament

Monroeville will be well represented at the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation’s Future Stars Tournament which begins Friday in Buffalo.

Nico Mager, Austyn Malloy and CJ Evans will play for Team Pennsylvania in two divisions against more than a dozen northeast and east coast state teams.

“It’s such an amazing feeling to represent Pennsylvania,” said Evans, who has played ball hockey since he was 4 years old.

“I didn’t know there was a PA team. I am very grateful for this opportunity. I love the competition and the feeling of scoring, making plays and winning. Hopefully we can do a lot of that this weekend.

Evans, who plays for McKeesport Dek Hockey and is a sophomore at Gateway High School, will be playing in the Future All-Star Tournament for the first time and will be on the U15 team with Mager.

The two have played together in the past in internal leagues.

“I’m really looking forward to showing off the talent of this team,” said Evans, who also plays for the Gateway JV ice hockey team.

Mager, a ball hockey player since age 6, is no stranger to the Future All-Star Tournament, having played on the U13 team last year.

This team went undefeated in pool matches and playoffs to win the championship.

“I really hope I can help this team win another title,” said Mager, one of four players from last year’s champion U13 squad in this year’s U15 squad.

“I want to get up there and maybe try some new things. It’s a really cool feeling to have another opportunity to be part of the PA team.

Mager, who turns 14 next month and is an eighth grader at Gateway Middle School, plays with the Pittsburgh Dek Hockey team.

“My older brother Julian was playing, and it seemed like fun, so I started playing too,” said Mager, who is now one of the best defenders in his age bracket.

Mager was also chosen to represent the United States on a team at a world championship tournament last month in the Czech Republic. But due to the ongoing covid pandemic issues and the war in Ukraine, the tournament was cancelled.

“I love this sport and hope to play as long as possible,” Mager said.

Malloy, like Evans, will be making his Future All-Star Tournament debut. Also one of the best defensemen in his age group, Malloy has nearly seven years of ball hockey experience and lives at the Greater Pittsburgh Ball Hockey in Penn Hills.

“I don’t even remember how I found out about ball hockey, but I’m glad I did,” said Malloy, an eighth grader at Gateway Middle School.

“I love competition and the chance to be part of great teams. I like this team (U13) and I hope we can do well (in Buffalo).

Every player on both PA teams received tryout invites, and out of over 100 applicants, only 20 were selected for each team.

Evans and Mager already know their U15 teammates well as they met for training sessions and also played in two tournaments this summer.

The team won the McKeesport Bash against teams from an older division.

Malloy and the other members of the U13 squad also met for pre-tournament practices in Buffalo and managed to win their division at the McKeesport Bash.

U15 has five round robin games and U13 has three. The top four teams from each division will qualify for the semi-finals.

“There’s a lot of pressure that comes with playing in these tournaments, but having these opportunities is going to do wonders for them,” said U15 team coach Justin Evans.

In addition to his coaching duties at Buffalo, Evans plays for an American Masters team that will travel to Prague, Czech Republic for the ISBHF World Ball Hockey Championships Sept. 7-11.

“I think the U13s and the U15s are a stepping stone to where I am now,” he said.

“This tournament in Buffalo is a great opportunity for the guys to represent their state, win a title, and be seen by USA Ball Hockey scouts and coaches for future opportunities. It will open many doors for them. It’s equally exciting to know how many children from Gateway are part of this program. It’s something quite positive. »

Michael Love is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Michael at 724-226-4665, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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