Giancola Headed to Clarkson
Grade 11 student-athlete Cristian Giancola will head south to Clarkson University after completing his St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) journey.
The highly touted hockey player was fortunate to have many options following the completion of Grade 10 and his U16 AAA all-star season. After being selected in the seventh round of the Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection Draft and considering several other NCAA opportunities, Giancola settled on Clarkson after visiting the campus and meeting the coaching staff.
“When looking at Clarkson, there are so many positives that led me to commit there, including the staff who are incredible not only as coaches, but as people, and made me feel welcome,” says Giancola. “Also, the university facilities were a major factor for me after learning about their recent $30 million upgrade to the arena and training facilities. I was also really impressed with Clarkson’s track record of producing pro hockey players and how many players attended NHL camps this year.”
Giancola has been a multi-sport athlete during his two years at the school. He was a member of the U16 hockey team and junior volleyball in Grades 9 and 10 and last year, joined the school’s track and field team, which he plans on continuing with again this year.
“During my time at St. Mike’s, I have learned about the importance and responsibility of being a student-athlete. We are encouraged to pursue athletics and take pride in them. However, our academic responsibilities are extremely important, and that’s why ‘student’ comes first in student-athlete.
“My St. Michael’s hockey experience has been amazing, and I also enjoyed competing in the other sports. I’ve improved my skills, had a lot of fun, and built many friendships.”
With two years left at SMCS, Giancola is still considering which programme he will pursue at university; however, he has a strong interest in Clarkson’s business programme.
“Cristian is one of the most hardworking, passionate, and professional student-athletes I’ve ever coached,” says Giancola’s former coach and SMCS faculty member, Paul Ruta. “His leadership qualities, attention to detail and love for the game are unmatched for a 16-year-old. Best wishes to him in the future in his quest for excellence.”
On the ice, Giancola is focused on the season ahead as he settles in as a promising rookie with the Toronto Patriots Jr. A hockey team.
“This year, I’ve set a goal to improve as much as possible,” says Giancola. “Playing junior hockey is a great way to get exposed to an older and higher level of hockey, which will help me improve.”