Area Male Athlete: LF's Newman newest member of 100-point club
Ben Newman sees the world a little differently.
He plays hockey a little differently, too.
The junior center for the Little Falls Flyers boys hockey team became the 18th member of the Flyers’ 100 career point club this season. He joined his linemate, Joey Hanowski, who made the list earlier this season, as the two current members of the Little Falls team on that list.
Newman’s 100th point came on an assist on Luke Majerle’s second goal in the Flyers’ 8-1 blowout of Sartell Feb. 25 in the Section 6-1A semifinals.
“It was short-handed in the third period,” Newman said of the goal. “I wasn’t aware I was close until about the middle of the season. I didn’t really think about it, though.
“Once I got that off my back it was good. There are a lot of good players on that list: Ben (Hanowski), Jared Festler and Beau Hanowski.”
Newman recorded two goals and added an assist in the Flyers’ 6-1 win over Fergus Falls in the section championship game that helped the Flyers cruise into their sixth state tournament.
“He’s our first-line center and he only has one eye,” said Flyers head coach Tony Couture. “It’s pretty remarkable, but he’s never had use of that eye before.”
Yes, you read that right. Newman plays center with only one eye. To him it’s not a big deal. He’s done it his whole life.
“I don’t really mind talking about it because I’ve been asked my whole life about playing with one eye,” Newman said. “For me it’s normal. I really don’t think about what it would be like, or how much better I would be if I had both eyes because I never knew.”
Newman lost sight in his right eye while learning how to walk. He was 18 months old when a rod from a wheeled planter hit him in the eye.
He thinks it makes him a better player because he plays with his head on more of a swivel than most do. What also helps is growing up with his two linemates.
“I’ve been working with the same guys for my whole life,” Newman said. “Luke and Joey, we know each other so well. We know where we’re at all the time.”
Said Couture: “Ben’s a grinder type kid. He’s not going to blow by you. He’s going to muck it up in front of the net and collect some garbage goals. We don’t have that one person, who can blow by anybody. He gets his goals by working them out of the corner and going through our cycles.”
The three-year varsity player finished the regular season with 21 goals, 24 assists and a plus-43. He scored six power-play goals and two short-handed.
Last season, Newman registered 15 goals and 23 assists. He scored five power-play goals.
“He is one of those aggressive players that likes to go out and hit somebody,” Couture said. “He’s physical and he’s a very coachable kid. He’s willing to learn. He’s a high-energy guy. He’s a very good grinder type. We like his physical play when we need it.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Nathan Holm, Pine River-Backus, scored 21 points against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
Beau Howard, Pine River-Backus, scored 20 points against Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
Evan VanErp, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 24 points against Detroit Lakes.
Nevin Greer, Pequot Lakes, scored 23 points against Esko and 26 against Sebeka.
Caleb Janson, Pierz, finished with 23 rebounds to reach 1,000 boards for his career against Eden Valley-Watkins. He added 11 points in the win. He also had 22 points and 15 rebounds against Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.
Matt Valentine, Little Falls, scored 21 points against St. Cloud Cathedral.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5856.