CRANBERRY TWP. — Justin Day attends Charleroi High School and Bradley Bujdos calls Belle Vernon home. Evan Cook is a Yough student, and captain Noah Schroeder goes to California.
They all might attend classes around the Mon Valley, but all four players don a Ringgold hockey sweater and played a major role in the program’s first hockey title since 2010 when the Rams defeated Burrell, 4-3, Monday night in the PIHL Division 2 title game at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Day scored the game-winning goal with 3:01 left in the game. Bujdos scored a pair of goals, and Schroeder netted the other. Cook was nearly unbeatable in the net, especially in the final 22 minutes.
The Ringgold hockey team is comprised of players from Ringgold and five other schools.
Cook, forwards Jon Dumond and Jeremy Bednar and defenseman Gaige Gazalie hail from Yough. Clayton Colecchi, a defenseman, is the lone player from South Allegheny, as is Day, a forward, from Charleroi. Ethan Saylor (forward), Nathan Todd (forward), and Schroeder (forward) attend California.
Bujdos (forward), Luke Long (defense), Ryan Marek (defense), and Camden Budd (forward) attend Belle Vernon.
Zach Kalinowski (forward), Evan Eberlein (forward), Evin Fries (forward), Hunter Suarez (defense), and Hunter Hodgson (defense) are Ringgold students.
“We’re a big ‘Ramily,’” said Bujdos, a junior. “I can’t wait until next year.”
The family atmosphere is created from the top down with head coach Rich Kalinowski and his family setting the standard.
“I want to give a big thanks to my wife Mindy. She made three big dinners for the team,” complimented coach Kalinowski.
Cook said the togetherness started long before skating on the high school team.
“All of us have been playing together for a while,” explained Cook. “We all love each other.”
Day echoed his goalie’s statement.
“This is an amazing group. I love all these guys,” praised Day.