SPRINGHILL – He may be the youngest on the Cumberland County Blues, but Springhill native Forrest Gallagher said he fits right in on his team.
When the opportunity for him to join the Blues, a team he said he would watch every Friday night, he said there was no way he was passing it up.
“I never missed a game,” he said. “When the chance to play came up, I really couldn’t pass it up.”
As he is the youngest player, Gallagher said he has different obstacles to face.
“Being 16 in an almost 20 year league, everyone wants to take a run at the young guy,” he said. “Especially on the team, you get all the rookie initiation and stuff.”
The initiation, Gallagher said, isn’t as bad as it sounds. The player said he finds himself filling up water bottles and picking up the pucks after practice.
“Just different things like that,” he said. “And cleaning up the bus on road trips.”
Now that Gallagher isn’t the only rookie on the team, he said some of his chores have now been dispersed among the other rookies who have been recently added to the line up.
“But still, me being the youngest, I kind of get a bit more,” he added. “You expect it. The older guys had to do it when they were there so I guess it’s not so bad.”
Of course, as the youngest player, Gallagher said his teammates do tease him – all in good fun of course. He said no nickname has been established for him but they never fail to mention Gallagher is the youngest player whenever they can.
“A couple of times, they’ve caught me saying I’m the youngest in the league and they do tease me about being that,” he said. “So they’ll use the added title when they talk about me: Forrest Gallagher: the youngest in the league or 16-year-old Gallagher.”
All jokes aside, the young player said he knows he can talk to his teammates whenever he needs them. As a first year, Gallagher said he doesn’t hesitate to turn to some of the veteran players to answer some questions or help him with a problem.
“If you’re looking for something that you need or wondering what something is like in the league, especially with me as a first year, (Tyler Gould) is the guy to go to,” he said. “Another one is Jesse Colburne. He started playing at 17 and this year, when I was trying to make my decision about staying and playing or going back to midget hockey, I went to Jesse and asked him what I should do and what would be the best decision for me. It makes a big difference having those guys around.”